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The opening of a new show piece £16m swimming pool in South Tyneside has been delayed by three months. Haven Point, Pier Parade, South Shields, NE33 2RL was set to be completed and opened to the public next month, but council chiefs have confirmed it is now set to be finished in August. It says last years wet summer weather and the recent cold snap has caused problems with the construction process.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “The main contractor, Graham Construction, recently rejected a small section of tiles laid in the deck area around the pool, as the workmanship by a subcontractor did not meet the high standards we have set for Haven Point. This was a routine quality assurance exercise, and not something that would cause a major delay. We can confirm that the three pools at Haven Point were all leak-tested in accordance with industry standards several months ago. There have been no problems with leaks, and in all three cases, the tanks proved their integrity. Two of the pools have since been tiled, while the third is awaiting tiling, and there have been no problems with the tiling or grouting within the pools.”
Haven Point, which had its name revealed by Paralympic Gold medallist Josef Craig last month, will feature an eight-lane, 25 metre competition pool, an 18-metre learner pool with adjustable floors, and leisure areas with flumes, sprays, bubble pools and water play. Work started on the site in September 2010, when the former Majestic and Quasar Laser buildings were demolished. Originally, it was reported that the development was due to be open in 2012, but this was later put back to the spring of this year. A source said: “I know instructors who were keen to start classes at the new pool, but they were told that they would have to wait quite a while. There were reports that the pool was leaking. That’s what quite a lot of people believe, as it seems to be taking forever for it to open.”
A council spokesman added: “Haven Point is shaping up well and expected to open in August rather than May. Both the wet summer last year and the recent cold snap have created problems for the construction process. We would prefer not to have a delay, but the key point is that the borough will soon have a superb new £16m swimming and leisure facility at a time when other authorities are closing similar services.”
The new state of the art facility when completed will feature… a 25 metre, eight lane competition pool and 18 metre by 8 metre teaching pool, both with adjustable floors for added flexibility; leisure waters with flumes, sprays, bubble pools and water play; a sauna and steam room; an 80 station gym; two dance studios; fitness testing and consultation rooms. A range of facilities for non-swimmers including a new visitor information centre, coffee lounge and cafe, an outdoor terrace and amphitheatre, two multi-purpose rooms and a roof top viewing gallery to enjoy the stunning seafront views.
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