AIREBOROUGH Leisure Centre's swimming pool is set to re-open this month after a closure of more than two years.

A major revamp of the pool and its facilities has been beset by problems including cracks in the ceiling and the previous widespread use of asbestos.

Delays in re-opening have caused anger and frustration among local people who have had to travel to pools in Otley, Holt Park or Kirkstall.

But now their wait is finally coming to an end after Leeds City Council announced that the new facilities will be launched on September 28.

The news was welcomed by Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew who visited the leisure centre earlier this year to see the problems for himself after complaints from constituents.

He said: "It is welcome news that the leisure centre is open at long last. Whilst understanding that there have been some issues during the refurbishment it has frankly taken far too long with delay after delay.

"I went on site a few months ago and was told it would be ready in July but here we are in September and finally local residents can start to enjoy the facilities. I do hope the council will look at this to make sure there are lessons learned and I would pay tribute to the staff who are based at the centre who have been so good trying to accommodate and use as much of the centre during this time."

A £1.2 million spending package was agreed in November 2016 for work on the 1960s building, including the major facelift for its swimming pool and facilities. Work began in 2017, but the anticipated completion date had to be set back due to “unforeseeable issues”.

Now the final results of the refurbishment programme are set to be officially unveiled.

Improvements include a re-tiled pool and pool hall, with new windows, and revamped changing rooms with modern cubicles, showers and toilets. A Changing Places facility catering for disabled users has also been introduced. There is also a new, modern spin room and 30 extra car parking spaces.

A new community hub with a library and cafe will be part of the redevelopment, allowing local people to access information about a variety of different services including council tax, benefits and housing and access to job shops.

The council thanked Guiseley residents and leisure centre users for their support and patience while work was taking place.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council's executive member for environment and active lifestyles, said: "In what continues to be a hugely competitive market, it is absolutely vital that we offer at all of our leisure centres excellent and modern facilities for local residents and our service users.

"I am delighted therefore that we have now completed our wide-ranging refurbishment programme at Aireborough Leisure Centre, and that the public will be able to enjoy all of the new improvements from September 28."

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities, said: "The development of our Community Hub programme is a key element of our vision to offer integrated, accessible services at the heart of local communities. It is fantastic therefore that local residents in and around Guiseley will be able to benefit and access a mixture of important services under one roof at Aireborough, from housing to council tax, to job shops."

The leisure centre improvement scheme has been funded by Sport England and Leeds City Council.Both pools and changing rooms were closed as the work was carried out but the rest of the building stayed open.