Wales

Council unveils £13.6m Afan Lido replacement proposals

Afan Lido after the fire
Image caption The Afan Lido replacement would house a 25 metre pool, sports hall and dance studio

Plans are being unveiled for a £13.6m leisure and community centre to replace a seafront leisure complex destroyed in a fire last December.

Neath Port Talbot council immediately pledged to replace or rebuild the Afan Lido after the blaze.

It wants to construct a two-storey building with a 25 metre pool, sports hall and dance studio.

A glass walkway atrium would lead to a library, computer room, youth facility and a crèche.

More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze on 16 December, 2009, and nearby homes were evacuated and roads shut.

Councillors have launched a public consultation about the replacement for the building on Aberavon seafront.

Neath Port Talbot council leader Ali Thomas said: "The Afan Lido has served the community well over the last 50 years and the fire was a very sad day for Neath Port Talbot council but this will be a new chapter in the history of Aberavon seafront.

"We now have an opportunity to rebuild a modern, first class, state of the art leisure and community facility for the 21st Century which I'm sure residents will welcome.

"Residents will have their chance to find out and comment on the plans and I would encourage them to let us know what they think and any ideas they may have."

The proposed centre would also have accommodation for 20 enterprise units for new small businesses.

Exhibitions on the plans are being held until 31 January, 2011.

Image caption Neath Port Talbot council pledged to rebuild or replace the Afan Lido within hours of the fire that destroyed it

The council said funding for the scheme include a bid for an EU grant, an insurance payment, savings from energy and operational efficiencies and capital funding by the local authority.

Afan Lido was officially opened by the Queen in June 1965 and its facilities included a 50m competition swimming pool, which was later converted into a 25m leisure pool.

The first manager was Graham Jenkins, the brother of actor Richard Burton, who was born in nearby Pontrhydyfen.

Bands who played at the venue include Motorhead, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Catatonia, UB40, Manic Street Preachers, The Jam, Super Furry Animals, and McFly.

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