‘No. It’s not an abandoned amusement park in Chernobyl. It’s Leisure World, Hemel Hempstead’

Leisure World, Hemel Hempstead
Leisure World, Hemel Hempstead

Users of social media say Leisure World has been allowed to decay into something that now looks like ‘an abandoned amusement park from Chernobyl’.

The comments were made on the Hemel Hempstead Remembered Facebook page at the weekend.

Aquasplash, Hemel Hempstead PNL-141205-175136001

Aquasplash, Hemel Hempstead PNL-141205-175136001

One user said: “No. It’s not a Chernobyl abandoned amusement park. It’s Leisure World, Hemel Hempstead.”

The poster asked people how they felt about the fact that the leisure centre is still being used by people who go there to ice skate and visit the cinema.

One user said: “Looks like a prison camp... with a guard tower.”

Another said: “That looks awful – I have no more words for it...”

Aquasplash, Hemel Hempstead PNL-141205-175156001

Aquasplash, Hemel Hempstead PNL-141205-175156001

Another said the towers from which the Aquasplash flumes previously extended – which now have gaping holes in them – look like ‘giant bird houses’.

The swimming facility was closed on Monday, November 4, 2013, and work on the Leisure World revamp has now begun.

Dacorum Borough Council leader Andrew Williams said: “The refurbishment works are under way.

“The first stage was to take out the water slides and frontage of the old building, and the second stage is the refurbishment to provide new restaurants.

“The first stage is completed and it does now look quite poor, I agree. This is partially down to the front being demolished and also the maintenance of the building has been poor while it went into receivership.

“Tesco Pension Fund are now working on it and it is a case of ‘watch this space’ until a much-improved frontage emerges.”

This website reported in March that the Jarman Park site has been handed from Capital and Regional to Tesco Pensions Trust in an £8.5m deal

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are really excited about the chance to provide a great new facility for the community.

“Internal strip out works have been completed and we hope that most of the other construction work will be finished by autumn 2014.

“We continue to work closely with the council and will keep local people informed as the plans progress.”

Aquasplash recently posted some photos of the beginning of building work in its part of what will become the new Leisure World.

The leisure centre has become known to many as Wally World because of the chavs who visited its two nightclubs, Lava and Ignite, before they closed in September 2011.

Party bar JJs and Hotshots bowling alley have also had to close their doors at the leisure centre.

The new Leisure World will include ‘seven or eight restaurant units,’ the cinema and possibly other facilities including the ice rink – though this is not 100 per cent guaranteed.

The construction project was due to begin in summer 2013 and be completed by early spring 2013, but this was delayed