Alternative sites being looked at for Shrewsbury pool
Alternative town centre sites are being investigated for a new Shrewsbury swimming pool, a council leader has confirmed.
Councillor Peter Nutting, who took over as leader of Shropshire Council last month, has said that options are being examined to keep a swimming pool in Shrewsbury's town centre.
The news will come as a boost to campaigners, residents, and some town centre businesses who have argued against closing the pools at the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre, and building a new facility at Shrewsbury Sports Village in Sundorne.
Councillor Nutting, who represents Copthorne in Shrewsbury, said: "I am aiming to try to do something within the town centre. Negotiations will be taking place over the next few months. It won't be a quick fix, it will take time to sort out but I will do everything I can to keep the swimming pool in the town centre."
The council leader would not be drawn on any potential sites for a pool in the town centre but Shropshire Council's previous cabinet member for planning, Mal Price, had suggested using the Riverside Shopping Centre.
Speaking last year Mr Price, who stepped down at May's council elections, said: "Staying where it is one option but I support those who say the pool should remain in the town centre but say where it currently is lacks parking.
"I think the best place for the pool would be the Riverside, it's a part of town that needs regenerating.
"It's dilapidated and needs updating.
"There would also be access to parking at the rear, and access to the bus and railway station."
Last year Shropshire Council agreed that it wanted to close the pool at the Quarry and to build a replacement at Sundorne.
However following criticism of the plans, the authority has given other groups 12 months to come up with a plan to keep the pool in the town centre.
The Quarry Forum, which has called for the pool to remain where it is, pulled out of the process earlier this year but Shrewsbury Town Council is still working on a bid which could be submitted.
The process has met with considerable criticism and there have been two marches through the town centre with people calling for the pool to remain at its current site.
Shrewsbury Town Council has until September 29 to finalise its full business case to take over the pool, with a final decision on the bid expected from Shropshire Council's cabinet in December.
If it is not successful then Shropshire Council was expected to press ahead with building a new pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village, although Councillor Nutting's intervention could change those plans.