New swimming-pool hoists to be installed at leisure centres

The swimming pool at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick.
The swimming pool at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick.

New hoists to help people with disabilities or mobility problems access swimming pools in the county are set to be installed.

The equipment will be fitted at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre, in Alnwick, as well as at Rothbury Pool and Gym, Concordia Leisure Centre, in Cramlington, and Blyth Sports Centre.

The cost of the work, expected to be in the region of £30,000, is being funded by Northumberland County Council.

The hoist is due to be installed at Willowburn by Friday, January 26, while the others will go in by mid-February.

County councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for leisure, said: “Willowburn will be the first centre to have its new hoist installed as we appreciate it is well used by pupils from the local Barndale House School.

“We have had to replace the hoists following the introduction of recent manufacturing guidelines recommending a maximum life cycle of no longer than seven years for the Oxford Dipper Pool Hoists because of the climate they are used in.

“Due to this new safety guidance, we were unable to insure our existing hoists.”

The leisure centres are managed by Active Northumberland. For more details, visit www.activenorthumberland.org.uk