Fresh plans for bigger, better new Worcester swimming pool?

Fresh plans for bigger, better new Worcester swimming pool?

Fresh plans for bigger, better new Worcester swimming pool?

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

SCALED-DOWN plans for a six-lane, 25-metre new Worcester swimming pool could be ditched in favour of a bigger, better facility.

Your Worcester News can reveal a series of dramatic developments in the city's new pool saga - and that a firm decision will be made in September.

A new report has been published by the city council revealing:

- April's decision by the old Labour administration to press on with a smaller, six-lane pool is not favoured by the new Conservative leadership

- It has asked council officers to come up with new alternatives based around a bigger swimming pool, more space for spectators and an enhanced sports hall

- The Tories believe going all out for a bigger facility may bring more economic benefits to the city and increase the number of users

- Fresh talks are being held with Sport England and other "potential funding" bodies to see if any of them can help even at this late stage

- A definitive decision will be made in September, giving the council just over two months to see what can be salvaged

- The council says once it has decided for good, the new facility will be still open in Perdiswell by mid-2016

As your Worcester News previously reported, Sansome Walk pool is coming to the end of its life and the council intends to revamp Perdiswell Leisure Centre to make it the city's new pool.

It has already looked at two options, either opening up a six-lane pool on the site by extending it, or building an entirely new £13 million leisure centre next to it with eight lanes before demolishing the existing Perdiswell site.

In April the Labour cabinet backed the first option, costing £6.5 million after saying the more expensive pool is out of reach.

Despite scepticism from Labour, the new Tory leadership believes it can find a better alternative.

Councillor David Wilkinson, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: "I want to get away from this polarisation of either a six-lane or eight-lane pool - if we can improve what we can offer in terms of more square metres of water space, more space either side for spectators and a bigger sports hall we should look at it.

"I want to know what more can be done at what cost. Either way, we are making a definite decision in September."

Councillor Richard Boorn, Labour's finance spokesman, said: "Like everyone else I want a new pool, but people think a bigger pool earns more money and that's wrong - it means more operating costs."

Comments (6)

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1:42pm Wed 23 Jul 14

i-cycle says...

I really do hope the Council find a way of developing a quality facility. Budgets are tight, but if the Worcester has any real aspirations of being a great place to live and work we do need our politicians and officers to have a vision of how the City can be made better rather than simply making do with a poor second best.

Unless its a pipe-dream I note that the developers for 'Sherriff Gate' (Shrub Hill area) have aspirations for an ice rink. Putting the two together and using heat exchangers can significantly reduce long term energy costs and especially with a 'solar roof'. Perhaps an opportunity for a more centrally located and accessible facility that's cheaper to run an and wouldn't bring the disadvantages of the Perdiswell location?
I really do hope the Council find a way of developing a quality facility. Budgets are tight, but if the Worcester has any real aspirations of being a great place to live and work we do need our politicians and officers to have a vision of how the City can be made better rather than simply making do with a poor second best. Unless its a pipe-dream I note that the developers for 'Sherriff Gate' (Shrub Hill area) have aspirations for an ice rink. Putting the two together and using heat exchangers can significantly reduce long term energy costs and especially with a 'solar roof'. Perhaps an opportunity for a more centrally located and accessible facility that's cheaper to run an and wouldn't bring the disadvantages of the Perdiswell location? i-cycle
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Hwicce says...

If they want a really popular pool then they need to stop obsessing about lanes and get some fun stuff in like wave machines and slides.

Swimming up and down in lanes is boring and unless you want to do it as a serious sport has very little appeal. That is why Sansome Walk is nowhere near as popular as Malvern or Kidderminster.

They also need the little trainer pool as well as that is the only saving grace for Sansome Walk.
If they want a really popular pool then they need to stop obsessing about lanes and get some fun stuff in like wave machines and slides. Swimming up and down in lanes is boring and unless you want to do it as a serious sport has very little appeal. That is why Sansome Walk is nowhere near as popular as Malvern or Kidderminster. They also need the little trainer pool as well as that is the only saving grace for Sansome Walk. Hwicce
  • Score: 8

2:11pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Worcester Lad says...

What a great idea just what is needed for the City of Worcester. This would bring in more revenue for the town as visitors from across the county and beyond will hopefully visit the city center . The cost could be helped if the football club is given planning permission. The money from the lease of the ground would offset some of the costs. Lets make Perdiswell a place for more people to enjoy , whether it is swimming or watching/playing football. This could be a great asset for Worcester. Please give it a go
What a great idea just what is needed for the City of Worcester. This would bring in more revenue for the town as visitors from across the county and beyond will hopefully visit the city center . The cost could be helped if the football club is given planning permission. The money from the lease of the ground would offset some of the costs. Lets make Perdiswell a place for more people to enjoy , whether it is swimming or watching/playing football. This could be a great asset for Worcester. Please give it a go Worcester Lad
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Wed 23 Jul 14

MissPiggy88 says...

We definitely need a larger swimming pool, we need lanes for swimming galas and competitions, and also fun things for local residents, hopefully combine the two. If we are not going to make it bigger we might as well leave what we have already got!
We definitely need a larger swimming pool, we need lanes for swimming galas and competitions, and also fun things for local residents, hopefully combine the two. If we are not going to make it bigger we might as well leave what we have already got! MissPiggy88
  • Score: 3

7:47pm Wed 23 Jul 14

broken6 says...

I'm sure the residents will petition against this ! Too much traffic... etc.

Just like the Football Club's application for a ground and community pitches for the use of by the locals kids (amongst others). Too much traffic. "Can't have kids playing on Perdiswell when we're walking our dogs!"
I'm sure the residents will petition against this ! Too much traffic... etc. Just like the Football Club's application for a ground and community pitches for the use of by the locals kids (amongst others). Too much traffic. "Can't have kids playing on Perdiswell when we're walking our dogs!" broken6
  • Score: 6

12:09pm Thu 24 Jul 14

newike says...

For several years I have asked this same simple question . If a six lane pool can be built alongside Perdiswell Sports Centre, why can't an eight lane pool be built alongside the centre ? It seems rather foolish to demolish a sports centre which is already there to build a new one from scratch. No wonder we were talking about extra millions.
For several years I have asked this same simple question . If a six lane pool can be built alongside Perdiswell Sports Centre, why can't an eight lane pool be built alongside the centre ? It seems rather foolish to demolish a sports centre which is already there to build a new one from scratch. No wonder we were talking about extra millions. newike
  • Score: 0

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