Exploria 'Play'n'Bounce' Centre Is A Big Success

Exploria, the giant new ‘Play’n’Bounce’ children’s adventure centre that opened in The Pyramids in August 2021 has proven to be a big hit. 

The centre has filled an important gap in leisure provision for Portsmouth’s young people and created a valuable new tourist attraction on the seafront.

It’s already welcomed thousands of visitors since opening with some sessions regularly selling out, especially in school holidays. (So, if you plan to visit, try to book in advance!  Leisure Card holders can also get a discount on some slots.)

Making sure our leisure facilities are fun but also inclusive

There are some great, fun spaces for kids to play in within Exploria like the Junior Play and Bounce Activity zones but the Lib Dem-run Council has also ensured Exploria has been set up in a very inclusive way. 


Exploria includes an innovative sensory room that is designed for families with young people who need a safe, calm place for a time during their visits. 

There are also specific low lighting sessions – ideal for some special education needs (SEN) children. 

Adults coming as spectators can enter for free.  However, the centre also lets adults participate with their children in a way that many similar centres do not.  There’s even an area specifically designed for very small children at £3.95 per session.   For the latest information visit  www.exploria.org.uk.

Alternative public swimming options in Portsmouth

Exploria was conceived as a way to extend the useful life of the Pyramids centre whose pool had reached the end of its planned 30 year life and was uneconomic to operate.  It was losing £700,000 per year, even before the cost of energy jumped this autumn!  Relatedly, there was a sad but necessary decision to also close Eastney Pool – it is no longer structurally safe and the repair and redevelopment costs for what is now an outdated 100-year old pool are extremely high.

Fortunately, our Lib Dem-led Council is exploring an exciting multi-million pound plan that includes building a larger, much better 25m leisure swimming pool, accessible to the disabled, at Bransbury Park on the site of the existing community buildings.  Recent local resident surveys from over 1000 people in the vicinity of Bransbury continue to show strong support overall for the plans which will shortly be the subject of a formal consultation process.

Public swimming is still available at Mountbatten and Charter Academy and in a final piece of good news, there is going to be a community use agreement at the new University pool at Ravelin Park, just north of King St, Old Portsmouth.  This should open in the spring. 

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