Exclusive: inside Castleton Health and Leisure Centre's new look
Date published: 07 August 2020
Castleton Health and Leisure Centre
Rochdale Online brings you an exclusive look at the newly refurbished Castleton Health and Leisure Centre, ahead of reopening to the public on Saturday (8 August).
The former Castleton Baths re-opened its doors to the public under its new name - Castleton Health and Leisure Centre - in October 2017, after the pool’s long-term future was secured following a community asset transfer to local businessman Nick Crewe, who restored the baths to their former glory.
Since then, it has become one of Castleton’s most used facilities, with many local residents sharing fond memories of the venue.
Facility manager Jo Potts said: “We’ve worked together with Starfish Swimming School, Aquabears and Castleton Swimming Club to prepare the pool and facilities to be Covid-safe. Aquabears will be the first back in before we open to the public on Saturday.
“We are so looking forward to welcoming children and families back.”
Following government guidelines, the well-used Edwardian baths closed its doors on Thursday 19 March: then with no indicator of when it could reopen. Whilst the country awaited the reopening of gyms and swimming pools, work went on behind the scenes at the 110-year-old baths, ensuring it will be in great condition when given the green light to reopen.
Taking two weeks to drain the pool dry, sand it and repaint it, the lockdown period proved to be the perfect time to carry out a facelift of the leisure centre, which could not afford to close under normal circumstances for such a length of time.
The pool has hundreds of visitors each week, from schools and swimming clubs to classes and public swimming sessions. The week before it closed, close to 1,000 people had visited the centre.
Whilst the changing rooms are currently closed, they are fully kitted out with social distancing markers and stickers – ready for the return of schoolchildren in September/October.
With no holds barred, the work entailed a full repaint of the pool, converting all lights to eco-friendly LED bulbs, revamping the first-floor gallery to increase the viewing area for the public, renovating the ceilings in both changing rooms, refurbishing the pool steps, and bringing back five swimming lanes.
A one-way system is now in place, and four hand sanitiser stations have been installed.
The venue is also undergoing a major rebranding, encompassing its complementary health and wellbeing services under new banners of fitness, wellbeing and empowerment.
Jo continued: “Thank you to all the people who came to help us prepare for reopening. There’s too many to mention because people have helped us clean, clear the car park, doing tip runs and decluttering.
“A big thank you goes to Crewe Industrial for completing the refurb; it looks great. And a thank you also goes to Crewe’s Gary Ellis for his continued support.”
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