The end of a drawn out period of refurbishment of a Tuebrook leisure centre could be brought to an end in six months time.
Since before the onset of the pandemic, Peter Lloyd leisure centre on Bankfield Road has sat dormant after renovation works were hit with delay after delay. Almost three years and countless apologies since a date was first suggested, Liverpool Council has confirmed another proposed opening for the Lifestyles site.
It is now hoped the £2.2m investment to bring the sports and leisure venue back to life will be complete for July this year.
It is estimated that closure of the site has lost the local authority £1m a year in potential revenue. Cllr Harry Doyle told the city’s culture and economy scrutiny committee earlier this week how contractors have now taken over the inside of the site having completed much delayed roof works.
The register of contracts issued by the local authority confirmed terms issued to City Build Manchester were valued at more than £1m for six months’ work. It had initially been hoped these would have been completed last month.
It is thought any further delay to works will result in penalties for the contractors, with Liverpool Council seeking to stage a phased reopening of the site. The LDRS understands investments have been made in new equipment and a full overhaul of the studios, gymnasium and changing facilities.
Pressure has built on the council to expedite the reopening of Peter Lloyd amid a move to consider offloading two of its poorest performing leisure facilities to community ownership. The culture committee agreed to back a cabinet decision to seek expressions of interest for Everton Park and Park Road through an asset transfer.
The leisure service is a non-statutory obligation which operates eight indoor facilities across the city. Cllr Harry Doyle, cabinet member for health, wellbeing and culture, said the council “simply doesn’t have enough capital to invest in all our sites.”
The Labour member said closing the sites would be the “easy option” but handing over to community groups would keep them open for great use.
Both sites in Everton and Toxteth are described as “high cost/low performing venues and are not financially viable” in the cabinet report. Assessment of all eight locations operated by Liverpool Council were said to be 10 years behind other major UK cities as a result of “underinvestment in the leisure estate.”
The last significant capital investment into the Lifestyles sites was undertaken in 2008.