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Possible new lease of life for Market Drayton outdoor pool

Market Drayton | Attractions | Published:

Market Drayton's outdoor swimming pool, popular in previous years, could be set for a rebirth as a water play park.

The pool's current state

The pool, popular in Market Drayton in previous years, didn't open at all this summer because paying for lifeguards and upkeep wasn't financially viable.

But Shropshire councillor Roy Aldcroft is determined to see the site come into some form of community use and is in talks with leisure company Serco as well as Shropshire Council.

A green light on the proposal could be given in a matter of weeks, and community organiser Mike Smith spoke of his excitement over the idea.

He said: "They are looking at the possibility of getting rid of the pool and putting in a water feature that the kids can run around and splash in.

"That would mean there would be no need to have the lifeguards, which is the expensive part.

"We have the heated outdoor pool in the town which is great, but people still like the idea of having something outdoors. It's a little bit like being at the seaside.

"There could be someone running a stall, selling ice creams. It's quite a nice little idea and exciting.

Mike Smith continued: "Roy Aldcroft has been negotiating with the leisure company, portfolio holder for leisure and sport and the trust that runs the pools.

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"They are working to provide a water park, similar to the one at Shrewsbury Quarry. We should have an answer within a few weeks now.

"Our pool has to be considered with the four others run by Serco in terms of policy.

"An engineer has been down to the pool to cost the project and see what can be re-used.

"The current company managing the swimming pool are charged with operating at a profit."

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He explained that the proposal to install the water park and open an existing picnic area would not require funding and training for lifeguards.

He said: "Admission to this area will be free, with no limit on length of stay."

Councillor Aldcroft previously said: "The last thing we want to do is spend £11,000 to keep the outdoor pool going for three or four months of the year, then it is closed for the other nine months.

"That doesn't make business sense."

The public pool was closed on the hottest days last year and the previous year the opening hours of the pool were cut after visitor numbers had tailed off, according to managers of the venue.

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