WAVES Water Fun Centre has finally been reduced to rubble, marking "the end of an era".

Demolition of the Blackburn swimming complex complete with twisting slides and wave machine has been completed, opening up the Nab Lane site for development.


The complex closed 12 months ago after 29 years of aquatic activity when the new Blackburn Sports & Leisure Centre opened its doors. When it opened in 1986, Waves was the latest state-of-the-art swimming pool and water-fun complex.

Now there is an empty space likely to spend its next few months as a temporary car park.

Blackburn with Darwen leisure boss Cllr Damian Talbot said: “This is finally the end of an era and rather sad. My children have used Waves and loved it as have many keen swimmers, young people and families over nearly three decades.

“We now have the new leisure centre which, after just 12 months, has exceeded all our expectation for usage and membership and is just as state-of-the-art as Waves was when it was built.”

Borough resource boss Cllr Andy Kay said: “I used Waves and it is a little sad it has finally gone but it has opened up a development site for sale. In the short term it is likely to become a temporary car park.”

Despite its history of water fun for generations of young Blackburn swimmers, Waves had become a financial burden for the council — the complex cost £32,000 a month to run.

Borough regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: “We have already had people round looking at the Waves site.

“It is one of three developments we will be marketing this summer — (the others are) the top end of the Old Market, which is now the temporary bus station, and the former Exchange Building — for development as part of the new Blackburn.

"We hope the redevelopment of Waves will complement and strengthen our £3 million Heritage Lottery bid to redevelop the historic Blakey Moor and Northgate area.”