North Devon councillors approve £50,000 fire safety modernisation at North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple.

COUNCILLORS have approved £50,000 to modernise fire safety measures at North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple after it emerged the current system was not up to scratch.

A report to North Devon Council's executive on Tuesday said inspections had 'highlighted some deficiencies with the fire separation and compartmentation measures in the building'.

This is a system which ensures a building is divided into a number of sealed compartments to contain a fire. It also allows the fire service to search an area of the building before any fire spreads.

It follows a £1million refurbishment last year, but in October insurers told the council, which owns the building but leases it to Parkwood Leisure, that fire detection and alarm systems had to be upgraded and 'building compartmentation' reinstated where breached.

The report to executive said Parkwood Leisure, which manages the centre on behalf of the council, has already upgraded the fire alarm system and is currently working with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to update its fire safety plans. The compartmentation work is likely to begin in September.