URGENT repairs on the ventilation system at a pool for disabled people are finally set to start.

Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool, in Stratton, needs emergency work on its 30-year-old system to stop hot moist air causing further damage to the changing room ceilings.

After 18 months of fundraising the pool has a start date for the work to commence on the first phase of the project.

The pool, which is visited by about 700 people a week, will be closed from Monday, with work expected to last between six to eight weeks.

Pool manager Neil Mont-gomery said he was relieved that the work was finally taking place.

He said: “It was getting to the stage where it might have been irreparable.

“Phase one is the most important phase of the repair. It will see the repair of the damage that was caused by the humid air.

“It will see the total replacement of the ventilation system which will address the air problems and give us more time to sort out the ceiling in the changing rooms and raise funds for that.

“The people that have helped us have been fantastic, they have raised so much money particularly in these difficult economic times, and they understand how important this work is.

“The pool will be closed for six to eight weeks, which will have a big impact on many people, but the long term gains of the work will far outweigh the short term loss.”

The first phase of the work is costing £95,000, which is coming from emergency funds that were held for urgent repairs that were likely to jeopardise the future of the pool.

The pool, in Jefferies Avenue, opened in 1979, and differs from a normal swimming pool because it is several degrees warmer.

The higher temperature is necessary because many of its users are unable to move around as freely as more able-bodied swimmers and may get cold.

Anyone who wants to donate to the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool can contact 01793 496002 or email info@thames downhydrotherapypool.com.

Cheques should be made payable to Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool Assocation.