SWIMMING pools at a popular city leisure centre will be closed for seven weeks to undergo construction to reduce its carbon emissions.

Leys Pool and Leisure Centre, on Pegasus Road, will be closing its pools from November 8 until January 2022 as part of Oxford City Council's multi-million pound project to reduce emissions from its public leisure centres.

The £10.9million construction programme will see water and air source heat pumps installed at Ferry Leisure Centre, Barton Leisure Centre, Leys Pool and Leisure and Hinksey Outdoor Pool.

The work is a part of the council’s aim to become a zero carbon council across its own estate and operations by 2030, with leisure centres responsible for around 40 per cent of the council’s building emissions.

Anthony Cawley, director of operations at Fusion Lifestyle said: “We’ll be working closely with Oxford City Council to minimise disruption for our customers and provide the best leisure facilities that we can across the city whilst the work is in progress.

"We’re committed to offering excellent services that are accessible to everyone in Oxford, and we’ll keep our members regularly updated about any service changes.”

The council said it will seek to minimise disruption for leisure centre users.

Work around Hinksey Pool is being undertaken in the closed winter period while the council will bring in temporary plant machinery to provide heating and air handling at Barton Leisure Centre and Ferry Leisure Centre.

Leys Pool and Leisure Centre, however, will require some closures later this year, as it is not possible to transfer the key heating systems to external machinery.

Work is expected to begin at Hinksey Pool on October 18 and on November 7 at Leys Pool and Leisure Centre, with the Leys Centre pool closed for approximately seven weeks.

Councillor Mary Clarkson, cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “This is a very exciting project to secure the future of our leisure centres as we move towards a low-carbon future.

“For Hinksey residents and park users in particular, we have to ask for your patience and support while the works are carried out. We are working closely with our contractors to minimise the disruption and the impact on the local area.

“We have worked hard with the contractors Willmott Dixon and our leisure provider, Fusion Lifestyle, to find creative options to keep the other leisure sites open as far as possible.

“We know how important our leisure centres are for physical and mental health, and we want to support our communities by keeping these safe spaces for leisure and fitness open as fully as possible.”