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Club's delight at eight-lane pool revival

Worcester Editorial 9th Sep, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THE CHAIRMAN of the city’s swimming club has spoken of his excitement at revived plans to create a eight-lane pool in Perdiswell.

Worcester City Council has put forward proposals to build an eight-lane 25 metre pool along with seating for 250 spectators at Perdiswell Leisure Centre.

The £10.45million scheme comes just five months after council chiefs claimed they “could not afford” anything bigger than a £7.7million project, which included the creation of a six-lane pool.

The decision was made by the city’s Labour Party, who ran the council until they were ousted in May, and led to more than 1,500 people to sign a petition set up by Worcester Swimming Club in opposition to the plans.

Club chairman Simon Richards said they were pleased the Tory-led council had listened to their calls as he believed building a new pool was a “once in a generation opportunity”.

“This is exciting news and we are pleased to hear that the council are still keen to provide the best possible new pool for Worcester,” he said.

“We firmly support the council in their desire to build a new eight-lane pool. Such a facility would increase the amount of available swimming time for all and benefit local health, schools and tourism by bringing visitors to our great city for high quality swimming.”

The project, which could be helped by a £2million grant from Sports England, would also see a larger car park and changing rooms built at the Bilford Road centre as well as an on-site café.

Another option, which will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (September 16), is the creation of a six lane ‘community’ swimming pool. This scheme, which would cost about £9million, would feature a larger learner pool, while the sports hall would be upgraded, making it suitable as an indoor cricket centre.

Coun David Wilkinson, cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities at the council, added: “It is vital we get this right for the people of Worcester.

“We have explored all available options, and are looking forward to creating a fantastic new swimming pool and sports facility for the city.”

The cabinet will take its recommendation to a meeting of the full council on Tuesday, September 30 when a final decision on which option would be best for the city will be made.

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