The bill for repairing the fire-torn Wavelengths Leisure Centre in Nelson is certain to top hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Forensic experts are still sifting though the debris of the spa where the fierce blaze started, and it only when their work is finalised can specialist cleaning teams move in to clear soot-filled ventilation shafts and smoke damage that spread throughout the building.
The Pendle Leisure Trust-run pool and gym in Leeds Road was closed after fire broke out in the spa shortly after 10am on August 19th. Sixty customers had to be evacuated.
As well as its popular spa the building also houses a 25m pool and gym. Activities have been transferred to other premises in Nelson and Colne during the temporary enforced closure. Gym users were directed to Seedhill, swimmers to the leisure centre in Colne and fitness classes to the Ace Centre. Members can also use Active Network premises run by other local councils.
Pendle Leisure Trust CEO Phil Storey said the spa was extensively damaged in the fire. “We don’t know whether anything can be salvaged or whether it will be a case of starting again,” he said. “All the roof tiles will have to be looked at and even items like the towels. A lot of things will have to be written off. It is a bit early to say how much all this is going to cost, but will be hundreds of thousands of pounds, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Money for the repairs will come from the Trust’s insurers, the same firm used by Pendle Council.
Said Mr Storey: “When it comes down to it, it is a building. People were in every part of the building and the evacuation by our staff was a job well done. Everyone was safe.”