Portsmouth Pyramids Centre swimming pool loss 'huge mistake'

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Pyramids Leisure CentreImage source, N Chadwick
Image caption,
Portsmouth City Council said swimming numbers had reduced by 40% in two years

Residents have expressed dismay at the decision to replace a leisure centre swimming pool with an indoor playground.

It is hoped the £2.5m redevelopment of the Pyramids Centre in Portsmouth will attract more visitors.

Portsmouth City Council said swimming numbers had dropped by 40% in two years, costing it £650,000 each year.

One resident told the authority opting for an indoor play facility instead was a "huge mistake".

The council said the new-look centre, which will continue to be run by BH Live, would be "one of the biggest and best attractions in the region".

It described the "giant" playground as a "soft play and trampoline park, to encourage more children to be active while having fun".

There will also be an expanded gym, new exercise studios and hospitality areas.

The 1,200-capacity Plaza events space at the site will also make way for the new development.

'Left to rot'

"Leisure pools have become less popular over the years and this has impacted the Pyramids Centre with customer numbers falling considerably," the authority said.

"The centre is operating at a £650k loss to the council every year, which is not financially viable long term."

But the council's Facebook page has been inundated with negative comments about the plans.

Katie-Marie Parsons called the decision "really disappointing".

"To try and use the excuse of falling footfall to justify closing the pool when the only reason people don't use it is because it's been left to rot is really bad," she said.

"A brand new pool with slides would be amazing and I guarantee would be massively popular."

Charlotte Crotty said it was a "huge mistake", adding: "The city is saturated with soft play venues for children and over priced gyms."

The new facilities are expected to open in the spring.

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