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Fears moving Shrewsbury swimming pool will hurt town's economy

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Council officials have been urged to consider the economic impact of moving Shrewsbury's swimming pool out of the town centre.

The Quarry swimming pool in Shrewsbury

Representatives of Shrewsbury Town Council, the Quarry Forum, Shrewsbury BID and Shropshire Council met on Thursday to go over questions surrounding the plans which could see the Quarry site renovated or the pool move to a new location.

During the meeting, which was described by Quarry Forum chairman, Bernard Wills, as "lively and frank", Shropshire Council officers were quizzed on the weight given to the economic impact of the pool's location in the decision-making process.

Helen Ball, clerk of Shrewsbury Town Council said: "One of the things we asked was if they have they really done enough work on the economic impact of taking it out of the town centre, and I think they admitted that they hadn't.

"It is important because it is how it fits into the whole economic landscape of the town."

Mrs Ball said they had been told that the final decision – now not expected until February – would be made on a number of different criteria, including locations, transport, the cost to build and run, and the economic impact.

She said: "The people around the table requested that in making that decision that further work might be needed to assure them that there is no detrimental impact on the economy.

"We appreciated them taking this time to come and talk to us, they have been very open and honest about the process."

Mr Wills said: "The consensus around the table is they want the pool to stay in the town. There were some very good, valid points and the council said it would look into them and come back to us.

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"One very valid point that we have been hammering home and asking questions on is how would people get to Sundorne on a Sunday or after 6pm if they do not have a car? That is something that has to be reviewed."

The forum has arranged a town centre rally for Saturday, October 17, for people to show their support for the pool remaining in the town centre.

A five-month consultation period is being held by Shropshire Council.

They include spending £2.3 million refurbishing the existing pool, £12.8m carrying out a wider renovation or £10.9m building a new pool on the current site.

Other proposals include building a £10.6m pool at Clayton Way, Oxon, a £10.9m centre off Ellesmere Road opposite Battlefield Enterprise Park or a £9 million pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village.

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

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