Further setback for opening of £20.1m leisure centre in Dunstable

The troubled development of Dunstable’s new leisure centre has suffered another setback after its opening was delayed again until next month.

In a public statement, Central Bedfordshire Council announced that the opening of the new £20.1m centre had been pushed back to Monday, June 3.

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The centre had originally been due to open in winter 2018/2019.

However in January, quality assurance checks found problems with the adhesive used in the tiling of the swimming pool – which required the entire area to be re-tiled.

Last week, a CBC spokesman stated the opening had been pushed back yet again from May to June, and added that it was disappointed with its building contractors.

But the public were less than impressed with the announcement when it was shared on social media.

One woman said: “So five days before you open – induction and classes booked – you tell us about more delays. This is an absolute joke.”

Another person commented: “This says a lot about the builders and the council who awarded them the contract. This is now getting silly and very unprofessional.”

And a man added: “So you don’t tell me personally so I find out via Facebook five days before my induction?”

A Central Bedfordshire spokesman stated: ”The builders have not fully completed their construction work.

“This has meant that we have not been able to complete our testing of the building and on-site staff training in time for our planned opening next week. This has been a difficult decision, but one that we unfortunately cannot avoid.

“We want to ensure that we open the centre in a way that gives our customers the very best experience from day one, hence we felt we needed to postpone the opening by three weeks to enable these final preparations to be completed.

“This is a major construction project worth £20.1m.

“Although a redevelopment project of this scale and complexity can often frustratingly fall behind schedule, we are very disappointed that our building contractors have not been able to complete the last elements of the building on time.

“We ask customers to bear with us whilst we work with the builders to make the final necessary preparations.

“Our leisure operator, Stevenage Leisure Ltd (SLL) , will be contacting customers who have already signed up for memberships and will ensure that their membership package reflects the new opening date. Updates on Dunstable Centre memberships will be published on www.sll.co.uk/dunstable.”