Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury Quarry pool redevelopment plans ‘unaffordable’ as Sports Village site favoured

Plans to redevelop the Quarry swimming pool in the middle of Shrewsbury look set to be shelved permanently as Shropshire Council focusses efforts elsewhere.

Plans to redevelop the Quarry swimming and leisure centre look set to be shelved permanently

The authority is preparing to test public opinion on a revised scheme to develop new swimming facilities at the Shrewsbury Sports Village (SSV) in Sundorne, with a decision set to be taken on the popular Quarry swimming and leisure centre site later on.

The council’s cabinet will be asked to approve an eight-week public consultation on the plans when it meets on Wednesday.

The council says maintaining two facilities in the town is “not financially viable” and is seeking to concentrate provision at the sports village, with the future of the Quarry site still to be decided.

A feasibility study commissioned in 2020 said a previous plan to develop both sites would require £68 million to realise, and in 2022 Shropshire Council pressed the pause button on the Quarry scheme while it investigated other options for the Sundorne site.

The new plans for the town’s sports village complex include a competition standard 25m swimming pool with seating for 300 spectators, as well as new changing rooms and fitness suites. The scheme is expected to cost around £28m to build.

“The council will look at future options for the Quarry site once the SSV project is sufficiently advanced, which would be subject to a separate consultation in due course,” the report said.

“Neither the current Quarry site nor the SSV generate enough revenue to cover their operating costs. As a result, the Council is subsidising the operation of both sites. The poor condition and age of the Quarry site has resulted in increasing repairs and maintenance costs.

“The proposed approach would be to maintain the current facilities at the SSV but add new facilities to create a multi-feature centre which is more appealing to a wider demographic, is more accessible, will attract greater revenue and are in an energy efficient modern building.”

Shropshire Council says the new site will be more cost efficient to operate and will save around £0.25m per year in subsidy costs, should it be approved. It estimates the new pool facilities at Sundorne would take around three years to complete.