A POPULAR swimming pool in the centre of Newport will remain closed, it has been confirmed.

During the pandemic, the pool at the Newport Centre closed, along with all others, in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

But, while Newport Live was able to reopen three of its swimming facilities in summer 2020, the city centre pool remained closed to the public.

And today (Friday, August 6), it has been confirmed that this closure is permanent.

While closed, work was carried out to maintain the Newport Centre pool, and survey its condition.

But, in a joint statement from Newport Live and Newport City Council, it has been confirmed that the pool hall was found to be “beyond viable repair”.

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Plans to reopen the pool safely were found to “involve significant cost”, which is said to be a key factor in keeping the facility closed, and in forming plans to eventually replace it.

Last year, a council report said that up to £2.5 million would be needed to reopen the pool area of Newport Centre to the public, and an additional £9.1 million to maintain the building in the medium term.

It leaves the city with three operational swimming facilities - at the Newport International Sports Village (NISV) at Spytty, and the Active Living Centre (ALC) at Bettws.

There are further pools in towns across the wider Gwent region – including Abergavenny, Ebbw Vale, and Monmouth.

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In the long term, there are plans in place to knock down the Newport Centre in its entirety, replacing it with a state-of-the-art college campus and leisure centre.

Work is said to be progressing behind the scenes on this development, with plans set to be submitted in the near future.

As plans currently stand, the new leisure centre will be built on Usk Way, while the college campus will be located where the current Newport Centre stands.

Early drafts of the proposals were shown during a public consultation several months ago, with artist impressions showing what the new facility could look like – subject to planning consent.

But, until the plans take a major step forward, the Newport Centre is still set to continue its role on the frontline of the Aneurin Bevan Health Board’s vaccination effort.

In recent months, the centre has played host to walk-in vaccination clinics, offering members of the public a fairly hassle free way of protecting themselves from covid-19.

Statement in full

A joint statement from Newport Live and Newport City Council read: “Newport Centre’s pool hall is beyond viable repair and that information has been in the public domain for some time. It was one of the reasons why the proposal for a new leisure centre was put forward.

“Opening the pool safely to the public would involve significant cost so it will remain closed.

“However, the scheme to create a 21st century leisure and well-being centre is progressing with the plans due to be submitted in the near future.

“The centre, which will include a new pool, will be built to the highest possible environmental standards. The proposal received overwhelming public backing in a consultation earlier this year.

“During the pandemic, the existing Newport Centre continues to be crucial to the fight against coronavirus by serving as a mass vaccination centre for residents.

“Swimming is still available in Newport Live’s other three pools across Newport International Sports Village and Active Living Centre.”