Pool opens - but flumes still closed

Tuesday 2nd November 2021 5:00 pm
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NSC flumes ()

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No date has been confirmed yet for the reopening of the newly improved flumes at the National Sports Centre in Douglas.

This is despite the main pool reopening yesterday (Monday).

The entire pool hall was closed from Tuesday, October 5, to allow work on the flumes, leisure pool and splash zone to be completed.

At the time of this closure, the government stated: ’The work is expected to take several weeks but once complete will mean the children’s leisure pool and both flumes will be fully open.’

However, although the main pool - used primarily for lane swimming - has now reopened, no official reopening date appears to be in sight for the newly revamped leisure pool and indoor splash zone.

The delays to this project have now seemingly stretched beyond that of the Douglas Promenade works, which first began in September 2018, when Tynwald members approved it.

The NSC project first began in August 2018, with work due to be completed by May 2019.

But the £4.2 million refurbishment has been hit by a number of delays.

In August 2019, the main pool reopened but the play pool and flumes remained closed.

When the spiral staircase for the flume had arrived, it was found to have been damaged in transit and when installed the flume run-out clashed with the duct work.

The stair column’s tread sections didn’t fit properly, there were no landings or inner handrail and there was significant movement when standing at the top on the flume entry platform.

In June 2020, the NSC reopened with the hope the flumes could be finished by the end of summer.

However, in November 2020, an extra £227,000 was requested to fix the flume staircase and zero-depth children’s play area.

This was overwhelmingly approved by Tynwald.

When the extra funding was requested, the project was described as a ’national embarrassment’ by then-Douglas South MHK Paul Quine.

The Chief Minister Alfred Cannan, then-Treasury Minister, said: ’Members are fluming - and who can blame them? We all share a sense of frustration and anger.’

He described capital projects as the government’s ’Achilles’ heel’.

Over the last month’s closure, members, pool hirers, parents of school children and swim lesson participants all had their entry to the pool blocked.

However, despite the further delays to the flume opening, entry to the main pool has resumed, and they should have all been contacted about the resumption of direct debits, credits and memberships.

As we reported in last week’s Courier, the sign-off process was due to take place last Thursday, October 28.

No report has been made on the outcome of this sign-off process as of yet.

The government stated when announcing the closure of the pool hall last month that ’as soon as an official reopening date is known it will be publicised.’

General information regarding pool times, prices, classes and more is available at: https://msr.gov.im/nsc/national-sports-centre/

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