Old cobbles near the planned new Halifax sports centre will be put back, insists Calderdale Council

Asphalt has replaced historic setts at the site of a new leisure centre in Calderdale – but officers say people have no need to worry and they will be back.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 24th June 2022, 5:00 pm

Calderdale’s main leisure centre – at North Bridge, Halifax – closed in late spring for demolition work to begin in preparation for a new sports complex and swimming pool to be built.

Councillors on Calderdale Council’s CAFM Asset Management Board – which manages the council’s estate and buildings – were given a progress update.

Corporate lead for Major Projects, Rob Summerfield, said at the moment inside preparation and early demolition work was being undertaken at North Bridge.

Halifax's old North Bridge Leisure Centre is being demolished and replaced by a new sports complex

A water pumping station would need to be moved and following discussion with Yorkshire Water this was likely to start in July.

Mr Summerfield said people will have seen that historic setts at the leisure centre had been removed and replaced by asphalt but this was only while the new leisure centre was built..

“That’s just a temporary measure to facilitate construction traffic going over the bridge.

“We will be replacing the setts in entirety once construction is completed – tarmac isn’t a permanent design feature to the new facility,” he said.

Artists' impression of the new look North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax

The pool element of the new centre had proved controversial and culminated in this week in Halifax Synchronised Swimming Club, which had protested the new pool’s depth was not deep enough for them to practise their sport, resulting in them officially announcing that it is moving to neighbouring Bradford.

The club, national champions in some age groups, will now be called City of Bradford Artistic Swimming – they were recently crowned Yorkshire champions in competition at Leeds and are looking to regrow membership they say has been lost during the dispute with the council.

The club used to swim at Halifax Swimming Pool in Skircoat Road, which the council has now closed as uneconomic to repair.

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