Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury Town Council spends £3,000 on cancelled pool plan

Shrewsbury Town Council spent £3,000 drawing up a plan to save the town centre Quarry swimming pool, only to be told it was not required.

Shrewsbury's Quarry Pool

The council has revealed that work by consultants on a business case to keep the pool open, will cost £3,000.

The work was started earlier this year but has been stopped because Shropshire Council has called an end to its business case bid process for the pool while it evaluates new town centre sites.

Shropshire Council had previously confirmed its plan to close the Quarry pool and build a new one at Shrewsbury Sports Village in Sundorne. Organisations were then given 12 months to come up with an acceptable plan to keep it at its current site.

Shrewsbury Town Council has been working alongside Shrewsbury Business Improvement District and the Quarry Swimming & Fitness Forum on its business case, and employed consultancy Fourth Street to draw up the plan.

The town council had been planning to have the business case ready for a September deadline. but following Shropshire Council cabinet’s announcement that a review would be undertaken, said it is ‘not known how this review is going or when it is likely to report to cabinet’.

In a town council report to go before members next week, clerk Helen Ball said: “Work has stalled on the process as a lack of clarity on proposals going forward has changed the goal posts.”

“It should also be pointed out that this whole process has been tried by the fact that the current managers of the facility (Serco) would not provide any background financial data on the existing management arrangements, citing commercial confidentiality.”

Plans to close the Quarry pool have met with considerable opposition from the public and two marches through Shrewsbury town centre have taken place.

Last year Shropshire Council agreed that it wanted to close the pool in the Quarry and build a replacement at Sundorne.

But on his election in May, the new leader of Shropshire Council, Peter Nutting, said that his preferred option was for the pool to remain within the river loop and asked council officers to investigate other possibilities, sparking the latest review.

Mrs Ball added: “On March 20, the town council commissioned Fourth Street to undertake a feasibility study and business case for the Quarry Pool to be retained in its town centre location.

“Fourth Street has agreed to charge no more than the initial £3,000 of the £12,000 commission.

“The town clerk and BID manager recently met with Fourth Street and whilst the project will not be concluded, some interesting work came out of the project.”

The town council will meet on Monday to discuss the issue.