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Last chance for Shrewsbury residents to push for Quarry pool

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A campaign group demanding Shrewsbury's swimming pool remains in the town centre has issued a rallying call urging people to have their say before a consultation closes.

Bernard Wills, chairman of the Quarry Forum, has warned that people must submit a response to a Shropshire Council consultation on a future swimming pool for the town by September 24 – or their opinion will not be considered.

Mr Wills' group wants Shrewsbury's swimming pool to remain at the Quarry Fitness and Leisure Centre, where it is currently based. The group has organised a public meeting to rally to their cause at 7pm on September 10, at the Prince Rupert Hotel in Butcher Row, Shrewsbury.

He said: "We want to make people aware of all the implications of moving the pool out of the town because I think people are missing the point that if it goes out of the town it could cost them more to get there, it will take a longer time to get there.

"We have the university coming into town, we have the college, and we have businesses who all benefit from the pool being in the town centre. The forum is adamant that it should remain at the Quarry, ideally completely refurbishedto bring it up to date."

Shropshire Council launched a four-month consultation on the swimming pool earlier this year. It released a number of options for its future location, complete with costsand figures for the number of people it would expect to use the facilities. Mr Wills also said that it is impossible to make a decision over the pool without knowing what could happen to the current Quarry Fitness and Leisure Centre site if the pool is moved elsewhere.

He said: "We have also still not received an answer from the council over what would be the proposed use if the Quarry site if it were to be demolished. Do people want a hotel or a block of flats there?"The council It has refused to be drawn on any potential use of the Quarry site, saying the focus should be on the best swimming facilities for the town.

Mr Wills urged people to attend the public meeting, saying: "This is to make sure that people are filling in the consultation and are having their say because as they say - once it is gone, it's gone.

"We need to make sure as many people are aware as possible, this is the last chance to make their feelings known."

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The current pool was initially built in 1864 and then extended in 1968-69, and has had around £6 million of investment in the past 40 to 50 years.

Three of the council's proposed options focus on the existing Quarry site.

The first, costing £2.3 million, would see the current pool refurbished, the second costing £12.8 million, would see the full renovation of the pool. A third, costing £10.9 million would see an entirely new pool built on the site.

The consultation has also asked people to consider new swimming pools at Clayton Way, Oxon, at a cost of £10.6 million, at Ellesmere Road, opposite Battlefield Enterprise Park, costing £10.9 million, or at Shrewsbury Sports Village, at a cost of £9 million.

A seventh option would see the pool built at Shrewsbury College, London Road.

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