A POPULAR leisure centre and swimming pool has re-opened following a £1.8 million-pound refit designed to make it more energy-efficient and enjoyable for local residents.

Almost £2 million has been spent across six months on installing new environmentally-friendly upgrades for Richmond Swimming Pool.

The refit also provided a perfect opportunity to launch a reimagined timetable of classes and activities sessions, including early bird swim, Aquafit, military swim, family fun sessions and Swim Academy lessons.

Austin Gordon, general manager of Richmondshire Leisure Trust, which manages the leisure centre, said: “We’re delighted that the works have been completed, which has not only modernised Richmond Swimming Pool, but has made it much more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Time to take the plunge in the renovated swimming poolTime to take the plunge in the renovated swimming pool (Image: Richmond Leisure Trust)

“While we were delighted to find room in the budget to renovate customer areas and update our shower facilities, the bulk of the investment has gone into the centre’s new energy-saving upgrades, including new energy plants, solar panels, and a new air source heat pump.

“The result is a much more carbon-friendly, energy-efficient facility which is more economical to run.”

With the recent surge in energy prices, the upgrades came at exactly the right time.

“Like everyone else, we’re suddenly paying several times more for our energy,” Austin confessed. “So this has been a key investment to help us control our costs, and thereby keep our prices affordable for the people in our communities.

“We’re also very proud to showcase our new pool programme, which has been restructured to be much more varied and engaging. We have introduced early bird swims six days a week, along with other activities, and kept our established commitments to local interest groups like Richmond & Dales swimming club, Richmond Triathlon Club, and Swaledale Outdoor Club, which train regularly in the pool.

“Our hope is that there really is something for everyone, regardless of age or ability.”

Liberty Health Club, also operated by Richmondshire Leisure Trust and located next-door to the pool, has also seen recent investment, with new equipment and renovation. As well as use of the gym’s facilities, members also receive unlimited access to the swimming pool during public swimming times.

“It’s been a real pleasure to oversee this investment in such vital local amenities for our local communities,” Austin added. “I’d like to thank Richmondshire District Council, who own the centre, and who have provided the investement along with Baker Mallet and B4G that completed the works."

“I’d also like to say how grateful we are to our customers, and how pleased we are to welcome them back to their new, improved, local leisure centre.”

Visitors can find timetables for the swimming pool and facilities at www.rltrust.org.uk alongside other useful information, or can call Richmond wimming Pool, on 01748 824 581.