Pentwyn residents are counting down to the reopening of their pool

Campaigners want their family-friendly facilities back, now that Cardiff Rugby is moving out

RESIDENTS in Pentwyn want their leisure centre to reopen immediately now that Cardiff Rugby has announced it will move out at the end of May.

Ever since lockdown in March 2020, when Cardiff Rugby moved their training sessions to Pentwyn, residents have felt pushed out, unable to access previously popular facilities on their doorstep.

“As a community we have been without for four years, and we are frustrated with the ongoing delays and lack of transparency,” said Rhian Vernall, who set up the Save Pentwyn Leisure Centre group.

The campaigners are pleased the club is moving out but want the centre to be reopened as soon as possible with no downgrade in the facilities.

Cardiff council has said it is committed to fully re-opening the centre with a new pool, the latest plans they released were for a 25-metre swimming pool for lane swimming.

But Ms Vernall said it was a fully functioning leisure centre before its closure, and although it needs some modernisation, the more family-friendly pool could be opened as it is.

“Any money spent on refurbishment should improve the facilities, and not be a downgrade,” she said.

Resident Claire Reed said: “While locals would love to have more or better facilities, really, we just want what we had as a minimum.”

Residents are particularly keen for the swimming pool that has been empty for four years to reopen with the slides, wave machine, and beach pool access that it had before.

This made it accessible for toddlers, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Pentwyn pool before it closed in March 2020.

Resident Domini Tansey said that swimming lessons and pool access were very important for Pentwyn children, as many families don’t have the transport to travel further afield.

Sian Evans, who also lives in the area, has mobility issues. She has struggled to get to other facilities because the journey required two bus journeys and welcomes the re-opening of Pentwyn.

Residents have also missed the community spaces, sports areas, and cafe that allowed clubs and groups to meet in the area.