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Still no date for reopening of The Swallows leisure centre in Sittingbourne after storm damage

A boss has said it is "impossible to say" when a leisure centre will reopen and if it will be in time for next week's half-term after high winds tore off part of its roof.

The Swallows in Sittingbourne was forced to shut on Sunday when Storm Ciara sent metal debris flying.

Part of the roof has come off at The Swallows leisure centre in Sittingbourne
Part of the roof has come off at The Swallows leisure centre in Sittingbourne

Dave Harcourt, CEO of Swale Community Leisure, which runs the centre, said: “It’s just unfortunate, as it’s obviously something you cannot foresee. The wind gusts were up to 70mph and we’ve suffered as a result.”

As of yesterday, contractors had still been unable to access the roof to assess the damage, let alone consider a repair.

But security fencing has been placed around the centre and contractors have been instructed to start putting up scaffolding today to gain access to the damaged areas.

Mr Harcourt added: "Work will take time, particularly given prevailing weather conditions, but our priority is public and staff safety.

"It is impossible to say when we will reopen."

Dave Harcourt, CEO of Swale Community Leisure
Dave Harcourt, CEO of Swale Community Leisure

The closure has meant the whole leisure centre and its car park, as well as the Avenue Theatre, the Age UK day centre and Swale Community and Voluntary Services’s offices, have had to stay shut.

Repairs to the roof had been part of a £2million investment in The Swallows and Sheppey Leisure Complex last summer.

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