The Manchester Aquatics Centre is set to close its main pool and gym for 18 months.
The huge leisure centre will be almost completely closed to the public from the end of this month until late spring 2023, and it’s all part of a £31 million refurbishment plan for the facility, which will see its swimming pools, gyms and cafe upgraded.
The Manchester Aquatics Centre was purpose-built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and opened in 2000.
Its initial build cost £32 million, and Manchester City Council is set to spend almost as much again so that it won’t “wither and die”.
Speaking back in January, when the plans were first submitted, Councillor Luthfur Rahman said: “This one-off investment will ensure that Manchester Aquatic Centre maintains its place as one of the leading aquatics venues in the UK for the next 20 years and more.
Leisure has a crucial role to play in Manchester’s recovery from the social, health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and it would be unthinkable to allow this key element of the city’s overall swimming provision, which also contributes to our global sporting reputation, to wither and die.
“But that is what would be likely to happen without serious investment.”
The plans will also mean that the centre’s carbon footprint will be reduced.
The closure, which will come into effect at the end of Friday 26 November, will see everything but the training pool close, with only limited public swimming available.
Members will be able to make use of nearby Better UK leisure centres – including the Sugden Sports Centre, Moss Side Leisure Centre, and Hough End Leisure Centre.
Featured Image – Flickr (Allen Watkin)
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.