County leaders have recommended that Herefordshire Council should spend £500,000 on essential works needed to reopen Hereford Leisure Pool.

The council-owned pool in St Martin’s Avenue, which is run by Halo Leisure, was flooded in October last year.

This damaged the electricity supply which led to the on-site water pumps to failing and the site has remained closed since while insurance funded works take place to reinstate it.

But some £505,000 will be needed to spend on extra works which are not covered by the insurance claim.

These include an electrical upgrade, fire alarm replacement, lighting and work to the plant room, lightning protection, anti-climb measures for the roof, roof mounted pipework and concrete repairs.

Commissioning, procurement and assets cabinet member Gemma Davies told today’s (September 24) cabinet meeting that it was not fair for people in Hereford to be without a swimming pool for a long time.

“We know that swimming is one of the 0 to 99-year-old activity,” she said.

“And it is where all people of all abilities are able to take part.

“Some of the anecdotal issues I’ve been hearing from people is that those suffering from arthritis haven’t been able to go swimming and they can’t do other activities.

“Right now, this is the right decision, so my recommendation is that we go ahead with allocating this money to do the repairs.”

Cabinet approved the recommendations which will be consider by full council at their next meeting.

Officers say the exact value is yet to be agreed and while they will try to use existing budgets it is expected that they may have to borrow to pay for the works.

Council leaders said they will look into a new site for a leisure pool in Hereford in the long term. As the site could be subject to future flooding.

However, a permanent site pump has been agreed by insurers and a new electrical entry point which is higher than the previous one and a back-up generator socket to the new pump will ensure flood water is effectively pumped outside of the building if it floods in future.

The officers recommend using the on-site contractor to complete the uninsured works needed to reopen the site to the public, which is expected to be before spring next year.