The hugely popular Sandgate hydrotherapy pool was reopened this week after the completion of an important roof replacement project with a new sustainable structure.
Built in 1977 through donations received through public subscription, the facility was built at the Sandgate School site in Sandylands and has since proven itself to be a well-used and loved community facility that attracts customers from a large area across Cumbria and North Lancashire.
However, the current fiberglass roof was not only about to end its useful life and was difficult to clean, but also poorly insulated and therefore pushed up the running costs of the structure.
The project took about three years, with the support of Cumbria Action for Sustainability in the early days of the research.
The total cost of the project was £ 230,000, with costs incurred from funding from a wide range of sources, including funding from a number of organizations including the South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust (SLHT), Cumbria County Council (CCC ), Southern Lake District District Council and The Friends of Sandgate Pool user group.
The roof was replaced by Pinington Ltd, based in Lancaster, and the new construction includes roof insulation panels and lights north of the glass roof.
In the UK, light from a north direction is diffused sunlight and therefore does not create clear shadows, and this arrangement ensures that lifeguards can clearly see the surface of the pool water without reflections.
The new roof has steel sleepers and solar panels which will help reduce the conventional energy requirement for the operation of the swimming pool.
The removal of the old roof and the construction of the new roof were completed in nine weeks with the project managed by CCC, which jointly owns and manages the swimming pool with the Trust.
SLHT President Colin Ranshaw said he was very happy that the project was successfully completed.
“This is a perfect and successful example of a charity working in close collaboration with a public body (CCC) to ensure the sustainability of the Sandgate hydrotherapy pool,” he said.
“The project lasted about three years from start to finish, which was accomplished with exceptional fundraising from a large number of volunteers engaged by SLHT, many other people and support from major local grant funding organizations.
“My most sincere thanks go to everyone, directly and indirectly involved.”
And Cllr Nick Cotton, president of the South Lake Lakeland Local Committee, said he was happy that the pool has a bright and secure future.
“The Sandgate hydrotherapy pool offers a range of services highly appreciated by people of all ages in southern Cumbria,” he said.
“The pool has undergone a number of improvements in recent years, all funded by the South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust, and this project is the final piece of the puzzle in terms of future pool trials.”