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Leisure Centre remains closed due to flooding
The Cotswold Leisure Centre, Cirencester, will remain closed for a number of months after suffering extensive flood damage to its plant room, Cotswold District Council announced today.
The Centre was forced to close on July 20 when the flooding left the building without power. Although the rest of the centre was not under water, months of work are now required to replace electrical and mechanical systems.
Portfolio holder for Leisure, Culture & Enterprise Cllr David Fowles, said that the Council was investigating the exact cause of the flood.
He said: "An unprecedented amount of rain fell on July 20th which caused widespread flooding across the county. Thousands of buildings were affected and the Cotswold Leisure Centre was just one of them. The Council is satisfied that the building and its drainage meet the required standards and can cope with rainwater in all but the most exceptional cases.
"We understand that a contributory factor in the flooding was the overflow of water from a nearby lake in Cirencester Park. We have met with Lord Apsley and his team to investigate exactly what took place and will all work together to prevent a similar flood happening in the future."
Lord Apsley said: "As the level of the lake rose above a certain point, it ran off as it is supposed to do; down a slipway, through the boundary wall of Tetbury Road and off down the highway. This system was approved by and is monitored by the Environment Agency.
"Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented amount of rainfall, the road drainage system was unable to cope and the water flowed into the leisure centre."
More than 70,000 gallons of water have been pumped from the plant room, leaving behind dirt and debris. Clean up operations have now begun and specialists have made an initial assessment of the damage. It is too early to say how much the repairs will cost, but the Council is fully insured.
Cllr Fowles added: "The leisure centre had been doing fantastically well since opening last year and we appreciate that it is a real blow for our customers that the building will be out of action for some months.
"However, I would like to reassure members that they will not lose out and remind them that they are welcome to use our other leisure centres in the meantime. We will be providing the community with regular updates and are working extremely hard to get the centre open again as soon as we possibly can."
Cotswold District Council will be looking at extending memberships of the leisure centre to reflect the duration of the closure and hopes to provide some fitness activities in the community.
Centre staff are helping with the continuing emergency effort at the Council's headquarters and the Centre has provided four lifeguards for the town's open air pool.
: 06/08/2007 16:27:49
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