New location for South East swimming pool recommended
Decision-makers at the Council will next week be asked to approve Minsthorpe Community College as the new location for a swimming pool in the South East of the district.
A report to the Council's Cabinet on 11 November will also recommend approving the college runs the pool as a community facility as a complement to its existing leisure provision.
Councillor Les Shaw, the Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "I'm delighted that Minsthorpe Community College is keen to work with us to enhance their existing community leisure facilities and help provide this much-needed swimming pool for the south east of the district.
"We had no choice but to close the existing pool and officers have worked hard to find a solution which will allow us to build a modern, fit-for-purpose swimming pool and give local people the high quality leisure facility they deserve.
"Our consultation told us that local people were broadly supportive of Minsthorpe as the location and the majority weren't concerned about a provider other than the council running a new pool.
"We will ensure that we have a legal agreement with the college to keep the swimming pool accessible and affordable for all."
Ray Henshaw, Principal of Minsthorpe Community College, said: "We are proud to be asked to help the council deliver this vital service. As a college we are connected to our community and want to extend the opportunities for swimming and learning to swim to everyone in the area.
"We want to develop a truly accessible facility and I can assure people it will be open for all to use.
"Learning to swim is the one skill we can teach that will save a person's life, and we can't think of a better contribution to our community than that."
Cllr Glyn Lloyd, ward member for Hemsworth, said: "I'm delighted the Council has delivered on its promise of a great-quality pool for the people of the South East."
Cllr Steve Tulley, ward member for South Elmsall and South Kirkby, said: "The area deserves great quality leisure facilities and the new pool at Minsthorpe will allow local people to take advantage of a 21st century facility which is long overdue."
Cllr Jean Askew, ward member for Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton, said: "It is fantastic we're finally able to announce the location of the new pool. I look forward to it being built as soon as possible."
Cabinet will hear that the Council has £5m set aside in its budget to build the facility, although there is no detail on the exact cost at the moment.
It will also be told that allowing the college to run the pool will amount to savings of around £200,000 each year even with a Council contribution of around £135,000 a year to running costs.
The results of the consultation showed that residents tended to express a preference for the location of the pool in the broad area where they live. In the wards closest to Minsthorpe, 91% of people expressed a preference for a pool in "the broad Minsthorpe area". 54% of people in Hemsworth wanted a new pool in "the broad Hemsworth area" and a further 33% selected a specific site in Hemsworth.
Of residents in the South East asked about whether it was acceptable for an organisation other than the council to run the pool if this saved a significant amount of money, 71% were supportive.