BUILDING work at Ledbury swimming pool, including a complete new extension, will begin in June.

The work, which will involve the temporary closure of the pool, will be completed by April 2017.

The pool is run by Halo, on behalf of Herefordshire Council.

A spokesman said: "Halo are investing £2.3m into the exciting development of Ledbury Swimming Pool.

"The development will include a new fitness suite; doubling the size of existing gym and the current number of pieces of equipment; a new fitness studio; new sauna, steam room and shower."

There will also be new "family friendly changing facilities" and a new reception area.

Councillor Harry Bramer, Cabinet member for contracts and assets said: “This is a major investment in leisure facilities in Ledbury which is great news for the local community who feared the closure of the pool over recent years. "Whilst we understand there will have to be some closure of the service, in the long term the new facilities will bring many benefits for the health and wellbeing of the community.”

Scott Rolfe, Halo chief executive said: “The scale of the refurbishment and the need to have the best quality build in the shortest time frame makes it financially and practically impossible for the centre to remain open during the project. "The decision of a short term closure has not been taken lightly and all alternatives have been fully explored.

"Although the swimming pool will close we are hoping to relocate the gym to the youth club next to the pool.

"It will be bigger and have even more equipment and we will also run our group exercise classes from there too.”