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Video: Shrewsbury swimming pool campaigners' joy at public response to 'use it or lose it' appeal

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Campaigners used a fun day at the Quarry swimming pool in Shrewsbury to urge the public to "use it or lose it".

It comes as the latest move by members of Shrewsbury's Quarry Swimming and Fitness Forum in their fight to keep the pool at its current location.

The fun day was aimed to showcase the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre's current facilities.

The event featured face-painting and artwork for children, along with live music, free aqua Zumba sessions, and representatives of a number of different clubs which run sessions at the centre.

Bernard Wills, chairman of the forum, said they were delighted with the response from the public.

He added that the event had allowed them to counter some of the perceptions about the current facilities were run-down and dilapidated.

He said: "We have had an excellent response from the public. We have had the different clubs that come to the Quarry showing off what they do, we have had music, free Zumba sessions, the scuba club, Shrewsbury masters. and crafts for the children.

"We wanted to make it a fun day and to get people in and show them what is going on."

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Ruth Gibson and Sue Challis hanging up the chalk pictures

Mr Wills said they wanted to use the event to challenge the belief that the facilities were "run-down", or that a decision had already been made to move the pool to another location.

He said: "I think people have heard a lot of the bad press and as one person said to me, 'the decision has already been made, it is going to go somewhere else'.

"We want to make people aware what is actually here and what is being offered – and that is fantastic facilities in a great town centre setting.

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"If it moves we will lose swimming pools, facilities like diving boards, there will be no flumes. We want to show them what they have. If you look around all four of the pools here are being used.

"It is just trying to reinforce to people that even if you're not a swimmer, if these facilities go they will not be replaced with anything like it."

Alison McKittrick, a forum committee member, said that they wanted to make sure people were aware of what is available at The Quarry.

She said: "Some people think it is so run down it is closed already and we need to fight that public perception. It does need investment, but that is the same for a lot of public facilities. The core facilities here are excellent."

Mr Wills said the day had also backed up the talk about the pool's importance to the town centre economy.

He said: "I think one of the most important things that we keep going on about is the secondary spend, with it being in town. There are people here who are stopping in town, dropping off children. They are spending money in the town and that is something you will not get at another site."

Louise Mallet, of Shrewsbury Masters Swimming Club, added: "I moved here four years ago and the town is known for its independent businesses and I think the town centre location of the pool is part of that success. You have seen it today with young families, children being dropped off and parents going into town, and that is the benefit of it being here."

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