URGENT fire protection work needs to be carried out at a Poole leisure centre at a cost of £221,000.

Ashdown Leisure Centre at Canford Heath does not meet current Building Regulations standards however Borough of Poole has stressed there is no danger to users.

Cabinet unanimously agreed the funding for the work, which is due to begin at Easter and be completed by July and will not require the centre to close.

Built in the late 1980s for Dorset County Council, the centre – which includes a fitness suite, exercise studios and sports hall with athletics track, artificial grass pitch and tennis courts outside – is next to Magna Academy.

During 2013-14 attendance figures were 198,537.

The school, which was built at the same time, was awarded a £15million Building Schools for the Future grant in 2011, all of which was used to develop and improve the school.

Early in the project it was discovered that existing fire protection measures at the school and the leisure centre did not meet current building requirements. As a result, changes were made to fire evacuation procedures and other safety measures implemented.

The school was brought up to date when it was revamped and now meets the latest regulations.

Andrew Flockhart, interim chief executive, Borough of Poole, said: “The funding that was approved by cabinet this week will go towards upgrading existing fire protection measures at Ashdown Leisure Centre. This will allow the centre to meet current building regulations requirements.

“Until the works are completed the leisure centre will continue to operate revised fire safety procedures that have been agreed through discussions with health and safety officers, the school, the leisure centre and the fire service, meaning there is no danger to centre users.”

Necessary work centres around the suspended ceiling and includes protecting structural columns above it, installing fire barriers within the ceilings to break the building into compartments, installing protective hoods over sensors and lights and replacing and upgrading suspended ceilings to the correct fire resistance.