SWIMMERS have cause to be optimistic as the Link Centre pool was more than half-full yesterday following £300,000 in improvements.

The facility at the ageing leisure centre, built in 1985, is set to re-open on Monday after extensive work by contractors, who laid 15,000 new tiles and replaced pipes and filters.

The pool closed in July for repairs which were expected to take six weeks , but structural issues with the ducts and internal concrete walls meant the reopening was pushed back until this month.

Yesterday the first drops of about 490,000 litres of water began to flow into the refurbished pool, which now has added features, including reconditioned starting blocks.

It is expected to ready for swimmers by Sunday.

Paul Farmer, Swindon Council building services manager, who has been working to maintain the Link Centre for 27 years, said: “The building has done extremely well and was ahead of its time when it was built.

“Things have moved on in terms of technology and we have some additional features, including pumps that improve efficiency.

“It’s going to look great when it is full and the water is going to be a lovely blue now that we have changed the lights, so it will look clean and fresh.

“We cannot just fill it all up straight away and it is going to take three to four days to fill it completely. “It is refilling at around an inch per hour as we don’t want to stress the pool – it is a slow and steady process.”

A spokesman for the council said: “To mark the re-opening of the revamped swimming pool at the Link Centre next Monday, we’ve got a preview event this Sunday at 10am with the Tigersharks swimming club.

“Also attending the event will be former Tigershark club member and current World Championship swimmer Jazmin Carlin, and GB Olympic Squad swimmer Lewis Coleman.

“They will be diving into the pool at 10am on Sunday with Coun Keith Williams, Swindon Council cabinet member for leisure, and will be the first swimmers into the water since the pool’s reconstruction.

“Although the pool won’t be open for public swimming until the following day, they will be able to watch the Tigersharks and guests from the spectating area. “The club will be in the pool from 10am until midday, giving a swimming masterclass.”