New pool making splash on the skyline of Blackbird Leys

The frame of the new pool building

The frame of the new pool building Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

HALF-WAY through its construction, the new multi-million pound swimming complex in Blackbird Leys is beginning to take shape.

Contractors began work in July on the 18-month project for a £9.23m pool to replace Temple Cowley Pools – which has just been registered a community asset – and the existing Blackbird Leys Pool.

The first stage of construction is over and residents can now see the building’s steel frame, with work on target to finish in December.

The Oxford City Council pool will have an eight-lane, 25-metre pool with moveable floor, teaching pool, soft play area and new changing facilities.

Contractors Willmott Dixon have already excavated tank areas and built the pool linings and walls, despite wet weather.

The building will form part of the enlarged leisure centre on Pegasus Road along with a new sports pavilion.

A new group exercise studio and meeting room has opened and new rooms to house a crèche and soft play area have been completed.

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Another look at the frame of the new pool building

The crèche and soft play equipment will be moved into the new rooms in the coming weeks.

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Council board member for leisure services Mike Rowley said: “I am delighted to see the steel frames being fitted.

“We have completed stage one of the redevelopment of the leisure centre and I look forward to the next stage being completed.

“The Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre is very much open and now has some great new facilities available."

The centre’s general manager David Hunt said: “We are thrilled to see the new centre taking shape.

“The fully equipped new studio is proving to be a great success.”

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Building materials piled up for the next phase

Temple Cowley Pools could still be closed by the city council when the new facility is open.

Building work on the site was delayed by a year due to legal challenges, including two judicial reviews.The council has had planning permission and funding since 2011.

Opponents have always insisted the old pool does not need to close and should be renovated.

The council claims the new centre will cost £150,000 a year rather than the £360,000 it says it pays Fusion Lifestyle to run Temple Cowley.

The Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre will hold an open day on Thursday, May 29, to celebrate the completion of stage one.

Comments (3)

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8:06am Thu 10 Apr 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

As you say the building work is only halfway through. Could you (OM) ask the council why they have chosen now to resurface the road in front of the new pool when lorries and other construction traffic will destroy it before the pool is even finished. Would they not be better waiting until after the construction work is complete ?
As you say the building work is only halfway through. Could you (OM) ask the council why they have chosen now to resurface the road in front of the new pool when lorries and other construction traffic will destroy it before the pool is even finished. Would they not be better waiting until after the construction work is complete ? Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 5

8:51am Thu 10 Apr 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

Would have been finished and open by now if it wasn't for the selfish Save Temple Cowley Pool group..
Would have been finished and open by now if it wasn't for the selfish Save Temple Cowley Pool group.. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: -1

10:35pm Fri 11 Apr 14

SaveTCP says...

More scurrilous rumours from a troll does not do the OxMailTimes reputation any good. The Save Temple Cowley Pools Campaign is and always has been focused on keeping Temple Cowley Pools open. There is overwhelming evidence, now accepted by the council, that TCP is of great value to the community. The council pays Fusion £360k a year to run it because it chooses to, not because it actually costs that much. And TCP is structurally sound - this has also now been accepted by the Council, which is why the Campaign is now focusing on keeping services the Cowley community want and need, where they want and need them. The Campaign will only put forward a financially viable bid that meets the needs of the community.

The council has shown no evidence of demand for a new pool in Blackbird Leys. It has ignored the wishes of those who use the perfectly good existing swimming pool there - elderly, infirm, disabled and other groups who want the 32deg and seclusion this offers. We objected Because the Council linked closure of TCP because they said they needed the cash (which they don't) and said it would replace TCP (which it won't).

The Campaign has no objection whatsoever to a new swimming pool anywhere in the city, but TCP should not be closed as a consequence. Remember though that this new pool is not for the people of Blackbird Leys; it is described by the Council as a "citywide facility" and a "25m competition pool". So, NOT for Blackbird Leys, but supposedly for everyone who wants to go there to use it. And for the swimming club. It's a site of convenience, particularly convenient for the operators Fusion who can save £1m by axing 30 jobs through the closures. And any taxpayer would object to the huge cost - over £13m for a 25m pool is scandalous. It's the most expensive pool of its size in Europe.

And trolls should not be allowed to twist information to imply intentions by others that don't exist:
http://www.oxfordtim
es.co.uk/archive/201
4/04/10/11137957.COM
MENT__Recognition_fa
cility_fills_a_speci
al_role_in_community
/
If anyone has any evidence that the Campaign has lied about anything, they should provide it rather than simply imply something that doesn't exist.

The Campaign has always used evidence, mostly prised from the Council, to demonstrate that the claims by the Council concerning TCP are incorrect. Facts and evidence should be the basis of any decision making, whether it's to justify building a new pool in Blackbird Leys or keeping TCP open for its expected life of 50+ years.
More scurrilous rumours from a troll does not do the OxMailTimes reputation any good. The Save Temple Cowley Pools Campaign is and always has been focused on keeping Temple Cowley Pools open. There is overwhelming evidence, now accepted by the council, that TCP is of great value to the community. The council pays Fusion £360k a year to run it because it chooses to, not because it actually costs that much. And TCP is structurally sound - this has also now been accepted by the Council, which is why the Campaign is now focusing on keeping services the Cowley community want and need, where they want and need them. The Campaign will only put forward a financially viable bid that meets the needs of the community. The council has shown no evidence of demand for a new pool in Blackbird Leys. It has ignored the wishes of those who use the perfectly good existing swimming pool there - elderly, infirm, disabled and other groups who want the 32deg and seclusion this offers. We objected Because the Council linked closure of TCP because they said they needed the cash (which they don't) and said it would replace TCP (which it won't). The Campaign has no objection whatsoever to a new swimming pool anywhere in the city, but TCP should not be closed as a consequence. Remember though that this new pool is not for the people of Blackbird Leys; it is described by the Council as a "citywide facility" and a "25m competition pool". So, NOT for Blackbird Leys, but supposedly for everyone who wants to go there to use it. And for the swimming club. It's a site of convenience, particularly convenient for the operators Fusion who can save £1m by axing 30 jobs through the closures. And any taxpayer would object to the huge cost - over £13m for a 25m pool is scandalous. It's the most expensive pool of its size in Europe. And trolls should not be allowed to twist information to imply intentions by others that don't exist: http://www.oxfordtim es.co.uk/archive/201 4/04/10/11137957.COM MENT__Recognition_fa cility_fills_a_speci al_role_in_community / If anyone has any evidence that the Campaign has lied about anything, they should provide it rather than simply imply something that doesn't exist. The Campaign has always used evidence, mostly prised from the Council, to demonstrate that the claims by the Council concerning TCP are incorrect. Facts and evidence should be the basis of any decision making, whether it's to justify building a new pool in Blackbird Leys or keeping TCP open for its expected life of 50+ years. SaveTCP
  • Score: 1

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