St Annes’ YMCA pool and gym has been officially unveiled after a £625,000 revamp – and opens its doors for a free close-up look this weekend.
A group of schoolchildren from Heyhouses Endowed, St Annes were the first in the pool after Fylde Mayor Linda Nulty cut the ribbon on the overhauled seafront landmark earlier this week.
But slight delays to building work mean that members of the public have had to wait a few more days to make the most of the new facilities, which include new extended changing rooms, improved spectator seating, a new café and social area and an enhanced entrance and reception area.
A free open day will be held on Saturday from 10am and will offer the chance to sample all kinds of activities throughout the morning, followed by swimming for all ages with floats and games, in the afternoon.
It promises to be a busy day as no sooner had the doors to the new-look reception area opened this week than staff were fielding enquiries and calls about use of the facilities and membership.
A keen flow of interest has continued through the week and the pool’s general manager James Wheelhouse said: “Initial feedback is extremely positive especially about the transformation of the area at the entry to the building and the views of the pool inside.
“People can’t wait to get in and start swimming and we can’t wait to see the Centre being used to its new full potential and benefiting the whole community.”
John Cronin, Fylde Coast YMCA executive director, added: “We’re excited about the potential and new opportunities these new facilities will bring for more local lives. And with our planned improvements to the programming we are committed to making sure the centre continues to fulfil the needs of families and individuals to support them in leading healthy, active lifestyles.”
The new look following a four-month closure of the building certainly got the thumbs up from the youngsters from Year Five at Heyhouses School.
Ten-year-old Lauren Smith said: “I love swimming and it is great that the pool is open again. It’s brilliant coming here with my schoolfriends.”
Elizabeth Hodgson, Heyhouses headmistress, said: “Swimming is a very important part of the school calendar for our Year Five pupils and it is wonderful to have the St Annes Pool open again. I am very impressed with the new features.”
Fylde Mayor Coun Linda Nulty, who was joined at the ceremony by Coun Sue Fazackerley, Fylde Council’s cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “It was brilliant to be there to reopen it after months of closure and it looks so much better than it did.
“It’s a really nice, clean, active place to be and to hopefully have lots of fun in.”
The works have been funded by a £500,000 Sport England improvement fund award, £100,000 from Fylde Coast YMCA, which runs the pool on behalf of Fylde Council, and a further £25,000 from Fylde Council.
Saturday’s celebratory open day programme will includes:
10.15-11am: Children’s Aqua MEND Session (ages seven to 13); Family Swimming – all ages; Introduction to Momenta Weight Management Programme for adults
11.15am-noon: Introduction to Adult Swimfit; Introduction to Junior Swimfit (to run alongside for swimmers aged eight to 16)
12.15-5pm: Free swimming for all ages (possible time limits) with floats and inflatable in from 2.30pm (age eight and up for large inflatable)
The timetabled programme for Y:Active members will begin from Sunday and more than 250 children are booked in to begin swimming lessons from Monday.