Call made for one exceptional swimming site in Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury needs one exceptional swimming facility rather than two that are mediocre, according to the chairman of a town club.
In the latest development regarding the future of swimming provision in the county town, Shropshire Council has agreed to explore the opportunity of having two separate sites.
The authority is now considering two options - one to redevelop the Quarry site to include a competition pool as well as leisure, health and wellbeing facilities, or to redevelop the town centre site but build a competition pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village at Sundorne.
However Bernard Wills, chairman of the Shrewsbury Masters, has rejected the option of splitting swimming across two sites.
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"Let's have one really good facility rather than two that are mediocre," he said.
"The Quarry could be made into something really attractive and exceptional where people can swim then go into Shrewsbury to do their shopping or wander around the Quarry. This is the only way it can survive.
"If the council is going to spend lots of money, let's do it right and have it in the right place. It's about time they start listening to the users and the people of Shrewsbury."
More than 80 per cent of people who took part in the last consultation regarding the pool said they wanted it to remain in the town centre.
Mr Wills, who is also chairman of the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Forum, said the Masters is hoping to attract five or six annual galas moving forward, each which bring about 400 people to Shrewsbury, and said a single town centre site is the best option.
"These people want to shop, sleep and eat in the town," he said.
"Why would we take them away from the town centre?
"Shropshire Council talks about wanting to make the town as viable as possible yet they're thinking about doing something that would not benefit the town at all.
"I just want this to be a success for the town and not to get it wrong."
The forum was set up in 2013 in a bid to secure the future of the pool.
Mr Wills said: "It's being going on before that though. It's been going on, as far as I'm aware, since about 2007.
"I can't even begin to imagine the cost involved since this has been going on and on and on - and there's still no decision.
"A lot of people are getting very frustrated now.
"Twelve months ago it was stated that a new facility would be built in the quarry then all of a sudden there's another option on the table and now we will have to go through another consultation."
It is hoped that a final report with a recommendation for either option will go before the cabinet in December.