Shropshire Star

Town could 'live to regret' moving swimming from Quarry baths

Shrewsbury could "live to regret" having its swimming pool provision moved from the Quarry to Sundorne.

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Quarry swimming baths in Shrewsbury

That is according to one campaigner after it was revealed Shropshire Council's cabinet will be asked to agree to the option at a meeting next week.

A green paper on the leisure facilities strategy has been published ahead of the meeting next Monday recommending the council to recommend option four, which would see a 25-metre, eight-lane competition pool and a 17m by 10m learner pool at the Sports Village.

The Quarry swimming baths would retain a leisure pool and a 25m, four lane training pool with a moveable floor.

The option would also provide a health spa and adventure play area.

Shropshire Council says the option has been given the thumbs up by a cross-party member working group, but Bernard Wills, chairman of Shrewsbury Masters Swimming Club, says groups who use the Quarry baths have not been consulted.

'Missed out'

"All of this has come without speaking to people who use it. We use it five times a week. There's already a competition pool at the Quarry, it just needs the timing mechanism to be repaired so it can hold competitions again.

"The town has missed out on revenue from competitions for the last few years, but if the pool is moved to Sundorne, it will continue to miss out. People won't want to go to a competition in Sundorne and then go into town to stay in a hotel or spend money.

"Swimmers use the Quarry from 6/6.30am until 9pm. There aren't bus services that early or late. It will encourage people to drive or just not use the pool. I would not swim as much if the pool was in Sundorne.

"We need the pool to stay in the town centre. If it moves I think we could live to regret it in the future."

Cabinet will be asked to allow officers to report to a future meeting with final recommendations on the preferred option, with outline design and costs, the outcome of any consultation and a recommended procurement route.

Councillor Lezley Picton, cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “We’ve committed to retaining swimming provision at the Quarry and officers have been further investigating the ‘split site’ proposals which has seen a new preferred option emerge which I’m pleased has the support of a Cross Party Member Working Group.

“Option 4 looks to meet our strategic objectives and gives us an opportunity to transform the Quarry site into a quality, sustainable and energy efficient leisure destination that promotes positive physical and mental health and wellbeing while also improving the leisure offer at Shrewsbury Sports Village.

“Officers will need to carry out further due diligence on the preferred option and cabinet can then be asked to consider and agree a recommended final option. We hope this will by June 2021.”

Subject to approval, officers will take the next steps to investigate the affordability and deliverability of the preferred option and recommend a fully costed and budgeted proposal to members in the summer.

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