| A much anticipated, long awaited leisure project in Perth, Scotland is at a crucial stage. |
Perth Leisure Pool is almost 30 years old, but it remains a popular destination for locals and visitors. However, trends, needs and aspirations change and the current venue is ready for substantial enhancement to maintain and increase its appeal and relevance.
The £25m project will see the existing Perth Leisure Pool retained, with the building completely refurbished and redeveloped to include the Dewar’s Centre ice rink. The plan will see the plant rooms of the leisure pool and the ice-rink combined, using ‘waste’ heat from the Dewar’s Centre to pre-heat the swimming pool.
In addition to a modern gym, large classroom spaces, an outdoor adventure play area, climbing wall and sky walks, the state-of-the-art leisure centre will also offer Olympic-standard curling facilities.
The sports hub is expected to attract around 250,000 visitors per year, generating an estimated £2.5m for the local economy.
Despite still having a present funding shortfall, developers behind the ambitious PH2O scheme are optimistic their plan will materialise. Live Active Leisure (LAL) will hold a board meeting this month when decisions on funding will take place.
It’s understood that other potential financial partners are lined-up to boost the present funding, which currently stands at £10m – half coming from LAL and the remainder from Perth and Kinross Council.
A spokesperson for LAL confirmed that a decision on the composition of the scheme is “imminent”.
“We are at a crucial phase of our efforts and we would ideally like to see the full development we have always envisaged,” she said
“As long as there remains a ‘glimmer of hope’ that we can deliver the full vision for PH2O we will continue to explore this route.
“As well as the swimming, gym and ice rink provision, there will be links in and around the building to outdoor sports, fitness and other facilities.
“It will also provide a vibrant hub for a wide range of other leisure activities.”
“We have not given up on pursuing this full option as we believe this will deliver the best facilities for the people of Perth and the wider area, the greatest opportunity for engagement and the greatest cost benefits.
“This is essential as we strive to continue to ensure Perth and Kinross has high quality leisure facilities and affordable access.”
The spokesperson said LAL is continuing to explore all potential funding sources.
She added: “We believe PH2O will have huge benefits for the city of Perth and is a crucial facility for Perthshire. It will continue to attract people to the city and meet ever changing demand.
“The economic impact goes well beyond the £10m directly spent on our facilities and is probably worth around £25m to the local economy, so its development could be hugely beneficial to Perth and Kinross in the wider context of economic challenges.”
LAL embarked on the PH20 project as they felt Perth Leisure Pool, which was built almost 30 years ago, was badly in need of an upgrade, and said they aimed to build a facility “fit for the 21st century.”