HYDE’S extra swimming pool is reason to be cheerful, despite issues delaying its opening.
The £4 million scheme, which saw a 25-metre, six lane facility added to what was already at Walker Lane, opened its doors to the public on July 24.
Changing rooms and spectator seating with disabled access is also now available after it was part of an overall investment in sporting and leisure facilities.
It was not without its hitches, as two contractors pulled out before work even started and the discovery of leaking buried pipes delayed its opening.
However, contractors worked longer hours through the week and at weekends to get it completed.
Now it is open, with the first customers jumping in on July 24 after it was completed eight days earlier, council officials believe it is something to be proud of.
Councillor Oliver Ryan, executive member for finance and economic growth, particularly praised the role played by Debbie Watson, assistant director of population health.
He also believes that along with Denton Wellness Centre and work at Medlock in Droylsden and Copley in Stalybridge, ir shows their borough wide commitment.
He said: “We owe you a great deal of thanks for getting it done and on budget.
“And if you look at the schemes completed, people need to realise there’s a spread of the investment that goes on in this borough, especially in our leisure estate and we’re really proud of the work we’ve done to be able to make this happen.
“It’s obviously a difficult time financially and has been for the last 10 years but that’s what we’ve achieved and delivered.
“Everybody expected there’d be another issue but we’ve got over the line.”
Council leader Cllr Brenda Warrington also believes more should be made of successes, adding:
“We should celebrate what we have achieved as well as highlight what we’ve yet to do.”
The project is part of Tameside Council’s £20million investment into leisure resources to provide some of the best facilities in Greater Manchester that offer varied and fun ways for the whole family to be active.
Commissioned by the council, the facilities have the capacity to offer swimming lessons for up to 1,100 children as well as support a full programme of activities such as lane and general swimming, Aqua Fit, and is available for local school use and club hire.
It features a nationally registered changing places room with a hoist, shower bed and moveable sink available for centre visitor and community use as well as a poolside hoist, a third Active Hyde disabled shower and toilet area and a unisex toilet block.
The pool’s energy supply will be provided by solar panel technology which will save an estimated £40,000 a year on running costs.
It will be managed by Active Tameside, the charitable, not-for-profit trust which runs borough-wide community centres and wellbeing programmes.
Reg Patel, Active Tameside’s deputy CEO and director of operations and asset development, has worked with the council’s team on the Hyde Pool project.
He said it is an exciting and outstanding achievement by both the trust and the council which will serve many generations for years to come.
Mr Patel added: “The council has developed this facility very, very effectively and it’s great to bring it to fruition. It’s going to make such a difference to the community.
“Hyde Pool is contemporary and aesthetically pleasing and it’s a fantastic example of what good, modern, leisure should look like and will really help to meet the community’s needs.
“We’ve really focussed on making it extremely accessible to everyone, taking into account as many needs and considerations as possible.
“It’s more than just a pool, it’s a game changer which will enhance and strengthen the community.”
It is the second major project undertaken by Active Tameside during the last 15 months, with the opening of their £15m flagship facility Tameside Wellness Centre in Denton in February 2020.
Hyde Pool is set to be the new permanent home of Tameside’s historic Dukinfield Marlins Amateur Swimming Club which has been operating across pools at Active Tameside’s Ashton, Copley and Denton centres.