Shropshire Star

Business group critcises Shrewsbury swimming pool consultation

A leading business group today criticised a consultation on Shrewsbury's swimming facilities over a lack of information about the future of the Quarry site.


Shrewsbury's Business Improvement District (BID), which represents more than 500 members, says the consultation should also ask people whether facilities are best placed "in the town centre".

The organisation's manager, Kirsten Henly, said its members were concerned that there is no mention about what would happen to the current Quarry and Leisure Fitness Centre site if the pool were to be relocated to another location.

She said: "The consultation document does not indicate any vision for the future or a plan B for the site, which is critical to the debate about where best to locate community services for Shrewsbury.

"The swimming pool adds considerable economic value to the town centre and it is vital that we retain these communal, social and leisure facilities. We strongly feel that decision makers have an opportunity to take a longer term view of the essential ingredients for a thriving town and it's vital that a modern swimming and leisure provision forms part of that offer."

Miss Henley also said that BID members were concerned that the consultation has not asked the "appropriate questions" relating to whether a swimming pool should remain in the town centre.

She said: "We were pleased to be able to share the viewpoint held by many of our members and their employees and be the voice for the business community on this key issue. We think that the council's consultation document regarding the future location of the swimming pool has not asked the appropriate questions and we welcome a full interrogation of the options, starting with a view on whether swimming and leisure provision is best placed in the town centre."

Shropshire Council has previously said that it had not included any mention of what could happen to the Quarry site because it wanted to focus on the best site for a swimming pool.

A response on the subject to Shrewsbury Town Council stated: "The potential value of the Quarry site has not formed part of the options work nor is it a subject of the consultation. The primary role of this work is to understand the public's view on potential sites for swimming.

"Should this consultation show that the preference is to move away from the Quarry then detailed work would need to take place to understand the potential value of the Quarry site and the impact of any capital receipt on a new swimming facility."

Shropshire Council has put forward a number of options for the future swimming pool including refurbishing or renovating the current Quarry pool, or rebuilding on the same site.

Alternatives include building a pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village, Clayton Way, Oxon, Ellesmere Road opposite Battlefield Enterprise Park, or Shrewsbury College, London Road.

The four month consultation period was expected to close this month but the council has agreed to extend it by a month after revealing that some of the financial figures in the public document were wrong.

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