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Supermarket talks give new hope to pool plans
11:30am Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A NEW multi-million pound supermarket could be built in Worcester – in return for helping fund a top-quality £13.5 million swimming pool.
A mystery big-name supermarket is being lined up to build a new foodstore at Perdiswell on the same site earmarked for a massive new leisure facility.
If a deal can be struck it will earn the council millions for the pool which is still £5.2m short of the total needed for an eight-lane, competition standard facility.
In the last 24 hours more details have emerged on the pool saga including:
The University of Worcester held talks about helping fund the scheme, but no money was forthcoming.
Worcester College of Technology has also been in discussions about helping fund the shortfall and likewise has not taken it up, but it is interested in using the pool as a satellite learning location.
The pool could include top class indoor cricket facilities.
The council has not ruled out Perdiswell also hosting a stadium for Worcester City Football Club and insists a ground, supermarket and pool could all fit on the site
Under the existing proposal, the current Perdiswell Leisure Centre, off Bilford Road, would be demolished and a new facility built next to it by 2016.
The council has been given two options – one for a £13.5m eight-lane pool, which has the £5.2m funding gap, or a scaled down, six-lane pool costing £10.7m which has a £192,000 shortfall.
In recent weeks investigators have been commissioned to see if they can secure enabling development on the site by selling some land to a third party.
One mystery supermarket has now come forward to say that it would potentially be interested, with sources revealing that it could lead to a significant cash windfall.
A confidential report is being discussed by the council’s Labour leadership on Tuesday spelling out future options.
Councillor Roger Berry, the cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “We are trying to do everything we can to get this new swimming pool and every single option is being explored. It’s just options at this stage, but we are leaving no stone unturned.”
As your Worcester News revealed yesterday, the council is preparing a bid to Sport England for up to £2m, but if bosses go for the £13.5m pool option they would still need at least another £3.2m to fund it even if that bid is accepted.
A final decision on whether to build a new pool is expected in June next year.
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