We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Splashes refurbishment delays cause confusion and distress

February 19, 2021 9:16 AM
By Stuart Bourne

Splashes closed for refurbishmentMedway Liberal Democrats are shocked and dismayed that the planned and much needed refurbishment of the Splashes leisure centre is being delayed indefinitely. The £5 million refurbishment project, which was needed to desperately update the facilities within the centre, was announced by the council leadership and the Rainham Councillors as a great victory for them and the community. Councillor Martin Potter, who has been on the task force to deliver the project, said 'We look forward to Splashes once again being a quality, fun family leisure pool for all of our community to enjoy'. Yet here we are 8 months later, and the same council has announced they will no longer be continuing the project, mentioning unspecified structural issues with the project.

The Splashes Leisure centre plays a vital role in providing key healthy living provision for the residents of Rainham and Twydall. Its continued closure will only lead to a reduction in the amount of healthy exercise available to the community, since the only alternative pools are in private gyms, which are too expensive to many people, or the other council centres that will incur extra travel costs.

Stuart Bourne, a Rainham resident and user of the leisure centre before COVID closed it in 2020, says 'This is absolutely shocking and insulting to the local residents of Rainham. I used to go to the centre regularly before COVID hit, my son was learning to swim in its pool, so I know how much a refurbishment was needed. It was bad enough that during the 18 months of the project we had to go to Gillingham to swim, now I have no idea if it'll ever reopen.'

The Medway Liberal Democrats are therefore calling on Medway Council to immediately answer the many unanswered questions surrounding this project:

  • What at these structural problems that they mention?
  • How will they effect the length of the build and when will it now reopen?
  • What will be the new costs associated with the cost and will the £5 million allocated still be available?
  • What will be the recreational leisure provision for Rainham residents during this extended period of closure?

The council leadership was handled this project badly, there is now much confusion and distraught amongst the residents of Rainham and Twydall caused by the lack of communication and clarity surrounding this project. Many residents believe the structural problems hide an agenda to close to pool and make the land available for alternative use. The leader of the council stated the refurbishment project was still going ahead, we welcome this public commitment. Permanent closure of Splashes still unfortunately remains a course of action that is open to the Council when the scale of the structural problems is debated properly.