Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew tells of asbestos and roof leaks delaying works at Aireborough Leisure Centre

Stuart Andrew MP.
Stuart Andrew MP.

A Leeds MP has spoken of the "host of problems" that have delayed the reopening of a leisure centre - but says those at the site are working hard to resolve the problems.

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough, has visited the Aireborough Leisure Centre in Guiseley to discuss concerns his constituents have about continuing issues with updating the facilities.

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It has been closed for remodelling since November 2016, and the original date of reopening was postponed from May last year to the end of June this year.

The re-fit has been hampered by asbestos and leaks associated with the age of the building.

Mr Andrew today said: “While I am in no way a building expert, I could see for myself why there have been so many issues.

"Most importantly, the extent of the asbestos in the building has been greater than first thought, which requires careful and professional removal due to the very real risk that asbestos poses to the health of those who encounter it.

"I appreciate that many of my constituents may wonder, as I did, why this was not discovered during the initial assessment, but it has been explained to me that it was not until the building itself could be closed before a safe and extensive search could take place to discover the extent of the issue.

"There is also issues with much of the pipework, electrics and the heating system which needs to be replaced due to the regular leaking that many visitors have experienced over the years."

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A recent delay was caused by the discovery of some "very serious cracks" in the ceiling while the new changing rooms were being prepared.

Mr Andrew (Conservative) said he believed the issue was being rectified, as was the leaking.

He said: "I appreciate that this 1960s building has a host of problems, but I did see for myself how much progress has been made and these issues are structural and a safety concern as opposed to purely cosmetic.

"It was clear that all those involved in the remodelling share these frustrations and they are working hard to make sure the centre is ready by July."

Sport England and Leeds City Council have funded the improvement scheme, which will include a new entrance, reception area, fresh tiles at both pools and other upgrades.

At the same time, the council is opening a new Community Hub at the centre, including relocating Guiseley library and providing access to a range of services in one place.

The centre will then be known as Active Leeds, Aireborough Centre.

Leeds City Council has been approached for comment.