THE hugely popular Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool has reopened this week after the completion of a major project to replace the roof with as new sustainable structure.

Built in 1977 through donations received through public subscription, the facility was constructed at the Sandgate School site at Sandylands, and has since proved a well used and well loved community facility attracting clients from a broad area across Cumbria and North Lancashire.

However, the existing fibreglass roof as not only coming to the end of its useful life and was difficult to clean but as also poorly insulated and was therefore pushing up the running costs of the facility.

The project has been around three years in the making, with support from Cumbria Action for Sustainability in the early days of research.

The total cost of the project has come to £230,000, with the cost being met by funding from a broad range of sources including generous funding from a range of bodies including the South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust (SLHT), Cumbria County Council (CCC), South Lakeland District Council and user group The Friends of Sandgate Pool.

Replacement of the roof was carried out by Lancaster based Pinington Ltd, and the new construction includes insulated roof panels and glazed roof north lights.

In the UK, light coming from a north direction is diffused sun light and hence does not create sharp shadows, and this arrangement ensures lifeguards can see the pool water surface clearly without reflections.

The new roof has steel cross beams and solar panels which will help reduce the conventional energy requirement of operating the pool.

Removal of the old roof and construction of the new roof was completed in nine weeks with the project being managed by CCC, which owns and jointly operates the pool with the Trust.

SLHT chair Colin Ranshaw said he was very pleased the project had been successfully completed.

“This is a perfect and successful example of a charity working in close partnership with a public body (CCC) to guarantee the sustainabilty of Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool,” he said.

“The project took about three years from inception to completion which was achieved with some exceptional fundraising from a large number of committed volunteers from SLHT, many other individuals and support from major local grant funding organisations.

“My sincere thanks go out to all, directly and indirectly involved.”

And Cllr Nick Cotton, chair of CCC’s South Lakeland Local Committee, said he was delighted the pool now had a bright and assured future.

“Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool provides a range of services which are highly valued by people of all ages in South Cumbria,” he said.

“The pool has undergone a series of improvements in recent years, all funded by South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust, and this project is the final piece of the jigsaw in terms of future proofing the pool.”