Town centre pool closed for repairs

Doncaster's St James Leisure Centre.
Doncaster's St James Leisure Centre.

A HISTORIC town centre swimming pool which once played host to The Beatles has been shut down temporarily due to structural problems.

St James Leisure Centre in Waterdale has been closed while experts assess damage to the roof of the gym in the building following an incident earlier this week.

It is believed part of the roof at the Waterdale leisure centre, built in 1932, collapsed on Tuesday. No-one was injured.

Michael Hart, chief executive of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, said: “We have temporarily closed St James Leisure Centre after the building sustained structural damage on April 9.

“While no-one was injured we believe this currently poses a health and safety risk and, for the protection of our staff and the public, the venue will remain closed until the damage has been assessed.

“Experts have been called and will visit the site this week to give their opinion on suitable next steps.”

The building was saved from demolition last year after being given listed building status.

The centre, home to one of Britain’s last remaining original Turkish baths, was threatened with the bulldozer as part of Doncaster Council’s £300 million Civic and Cultural Quarter development, which has included the construction of new council offices, a town square, and a new theatre venue, Cast, in the area.

Campaigner Ray Nortrop, who died last year, made an application to the Secretary of State for the leisure centre building to be protected. It hosted the Fab Four as well as The Searchers and Freddie and the Dreamers in the 1960s.

The Government, backed by English Heritage, agreed and the building was given Grade II listed status and incorporated into the new project.

During the closure, members will be free to use any other DCLT facilities. All other customers will be offered a seven-day pass to use at other DCLT facilities and can speak to a member of staff for details.