A former worker at the biggest leisure centre in the city has said it is “riddled” with cockroaches.

The whistleblower who worked at King Alfred on Hove seafront told The Argus the facility is “disgusting” and that there were cockroaches in back rooms and changing rooms.

He said: “The staff don’t seem to take it seriously. When I raised it, someone said ‘They are not cockroaches, they are our flying little friends’.”

The Argus: An image of a cockroach at the leisure centreAn image of a cockroach at the leisure centre (Image: Submitted)

King Alfred’s swimming pool was closed from January to April this year while its boilers were repaired.

This is not the first time the leisure centre has reportedly had critters roaming around.

Back in 2013, the contractor Freedom Leisure confirmed that the facility was plagued with cockroaches.

At the time, the council worked with the contractor to make sure the cleaning process was “robust” to “actively manage” the issue.

The former King Alfred employee said this week that the centre is “dishelved”.

“I have worked in other leisure centres and this is by far the worst I have seen,” he said.

“It is an unhygienic, old and decaying building that needs knocking down.”

The ageing sports centre, which dates back to the 1930s, has been earmarked for demolition with many residents complaining about its state of “disrepair”.

While plans to replace the facility are at an early stage the council has confirmed that the site will “very likely” be demolished regardless of where a new facility will be built.

According to the council’s development plans, at least 400 apartments will be constructed on the site of the leisure centre.

The Argus: The King Alfred is on Hove seafrontThe King Alfred is on Hove seafront

A council spokesman said: “The King Alfred Leisure Centre is run by our contractor Freedom Leisure.

“In light of these reports we have asked Freedom Leisure to review their pest control measures with their specialist contractor and to report back to us on the actions they have taken.

“If anyone using the centre sees something they don’t like we would invite them to report their concerns to staff at the centre as soon as possible so that direct action can be taken.”