A new £1.5million leisure centre will be built to meet a ‘desperate’ need, while a temporary swimming pool will be established in Wanstead in the mean time, Redbridge Council has announced.

A plan is in place for a 12-metre pool, which was used for training during the Olympics, to be placed in an as yet unconfirmed location for 12 weeks from January.

It would cost Redbridge Council £30,000, with an undisclosed subsidy from City Hall as part of an Olympic legacy initiative.

The location of the new proposed leisure complex, which would feature a 25metre pool, a fitness studio, a gym and a library, has yet to be confirmed - but it is being planned for the south of the borough.

Paul Robbins, Head Coach at London Borough Redbridge Swimming Club, said he believed the plans are yet to be finalised, but said there was an urgent need for the new facilities in a borough where children have to wait too long to learn to swim.

The borough currently has only one public swimming pool, at Fulwell Cross in Barkingside, which serves a population of 250,000.

He said: “Redbridge is a very large borough, and there are currently thousands of kids having to wait a year to 18 months just to learn how to swim.

“By opening a further swimming pool, it will provide opportunities from swimmers to learn life-saving skills, and give younger swimmers the chance to progress in a competitive environment.

“We are desperate for this. If it does happen it would be fantastic news for the borough.”

The council said it is hoping to secure a site for the new centre in the next four weeks, with a view to starting work early next year.

Councillor Keith Prince said: “I would like to thank our mayor for this opportunity that means I can deliver on my commitment to provide an additional pool in Redbridge.”