Peterborough Hydrotherapy Pool: 'Spades in the ground this summer' as Thistlemoor plans get the green light

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Rehabilitation centre could open next year – and is named after legendary city councillor Charles Swift

The wait for a new hydrotherapy pool for Peterborough could soon be over – after plans for a new pool and rehabilitation centre were given the green light.

Building work on the multi-million pound facility at the Thistlemoor Medical Centre – located just off Lincoln Road in Millfield – could start within a couple of months after the council approved the plans.

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The plans were exclusively revealed to The Peterborough Telegraph in 2022, after the announcement that the St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool would remain closed – but after two years of work, speaking to pool users, and a major redesign, work could begin on a new pool later this summer.

Doctor Neil Modha with the plans for the new hydrotheraphy pool at  Thistlemoor Medical Centre.Doctor Neil Modha with the plans for the new hydrotheraphy pool at  Thistlemoor Medical Centre.
Doctor Neil Modha with the plans for the new hydrotheraphy pool at Thistlemoor Medical Centre.
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Peterborough GP reveals plans for state of the art £2 million hydrotherapy pool ...

‘We went back to the drawing board’

Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph, Dr Neil Modha, from the centre, said: “It has been a long journey – we bought the land from Parkway Sports and Leisure in 2021.

What the new centre might look likeWhat the new centre might look like
What the new centre might look like

"Initially we had two hydrotherapy pools on the first floor, and then we went to the design stage, and people said that having that lay out would add a lot to the build cost, to make it structurally sound – those pools have 40,000 tonnes of weight in them.

"It would also have been harder for service users, as if they needed to be evacuated, there would have been a lot of technical problems.

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"We definitely want hydrotherapy to a major, key part of it, but we also want a rehabilitation centre and facilities.

"The top floor would be designed for rehabilitation – for example, if someone has had a serious motorcycle or car accident, and they are in their 30s and 40s, then they could come and get rehabilitation here, use the hydrotherapy services, and hopefully leave in a better way.”

Tribute to legendary councillor

While the centre’s official name will the the Cambridgeshire Enablement Centre, the building will be called the Modha Swift Building, named after Dr Modha’s father – Jitendra Modha – who inspired him to create the new pool after he suffered a stroke, and former councillor Charles Swift, who did so much work in the Millfield area.

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Dr Modha said: “The reason for the centre was that my dad, who had a stroke during the pandemic, and he had to go to Luton or Bedford as there were no hydrotherapy facilities near by.

"My mum drove him to those places, but not everyone can afford that time wise or money wise, so that helped us understand there was a need for this.”

‘Legacy for Peterborough’

The pool is planned to be open to all. Dr Modha said: “There is no hydrotherapy pool at the hospital. I think they send people to Stamford at the moment. We want this pool to be used by as many people as possible, who can benefit as much as possible.”

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Dr Modha said he could not reveal the cost of the project – in 2022, when the initial proposals were first revealed, he said it would cost £2 million, but said it was hoped work would start in the near future.

He said: “I would hope we are getting spades in the ground in August, and then we are looking at an 18 month project to get it completed.

"This is about leaving a legacy for Peterborough. We are really excited about having the facilities for Peterborough.”

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