Barnstaple leisure centre work on track

Joseph Bulmer

North Devon Leisure Centre pools still set to reopen in April.

WORK to refurbish the swimming pool area at North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple is going well and expected to be finished on time, North Devon Council has said.

The pools are still on track to reopen in April after the council, which owns the building, contracted Midas Construction in October for a six month project to make urgent repairs to the building.

The work includes cleaning and repainting the pool tank interiors, redesigning and tiling the wet side changing area and a new pool side health suite.

It became necessary after survey of the 40-year-old building showed improvements were needed to ensure it was safe.

So far, the poolside and changing rooms have been stripped out and the pool ceiling removed to allow repairs to the roof steelwork to begin, with a forest of scaffolding springing up across the pool area.

Work has also begun to strengthen and repair 120 steel columns that support the pool.

Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Derrick Spear said he had been attending frequent progress meetings and as expected with a building of that age, there had been daily challenges and unforeseen problems.

“Unless a major issue arises, I’m confident the project will be complete on time,” he said.

“Although most of the work is behind the scenes, to strengthen the structure and support the pool, the pools and wetside changing area will be much improved and we hope users will be pleased with the result.”

The rest of the centre is still open, with all other facilities available. There is an alternative council owned pool at Ilfracombe. For more details, contact Parkwood Leisure on (01271) 373361.

For updates and pictures of the refurbishment, follow the council’s blog at