Shrewsbury College – on why it’s a good choice for the future of Shrewsbury swimming pool
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Shrewsbury College is one of the options for a new swimming pool in the town, citing that it would create a strong community hub for the town as well as a more sustainable pool among its main reasons.
Shropshire Council launched a four month public consultation last week to ask people to vote to either refurbish, upgrade or build a new public pool at the existing quarry site – or build a new pool elsewhere in the town.
The four options to build elsewhere, including on land adjacent to Shrewsbury College and Principal of Shrewsbury College, Steve Wain, said the option would add to the College’s already vibrant community offering.
He said: “The College site would be a good location as it is easy walking distance to the centre of Shrewsbury and has excellent transport links to the town centre and the M54, with main bus routes stopping at both Wenlock and London Road, and great car parking already on hand.
“We are also a ‘clear sky site’ which means there are no trees or buildings in the way of a new build so it would benefit from extensive use of the roof to create clean electricity. The site is already perfect for ground-source heat pumps, making a new build here a highly sustainable option.
“A new pool here would not have any drainage issues and we would have no issues with depth, so a new pool could be built to an Olympic-standard size with a 4m depth for diving and synchronized swimming groups.
“The College site is already inherently linked to the community and the sports facilities, including London Road Sports Centre, the new 3G sports pitch, athletics track and many associated sports fields, are already very well used by the community with a footfall of around 3000 people a week.
“Shropshire Council estimates a pool here would draw almost 500,000 people a year- which is the joint highest amount out of the options available, and the plans also include options to redevelop the Sports Centre.
“We also have Origins Restaurant and Evolve Hair & Beauty Salon and the Futures Centre, the first sixth form of its type in the country for people with learning disabilities and difficulties and associated café, which are all open to and well used by the community, so a very vibrant community hub could be created.”
“It is entirely commonplace for councils to work in partnership with local colleges when considering how to maximise the use of limited resources at a time when everyone is seeking to make money stretch and it is essential to avoid unnecessary duplication of facilities. Swimming superstar Rebecca Adlington opened a new council swimming pool at a college in Blackburn in April. It would be great to think that we had such foresight and ambition here in Shrewsbury too”.
All of the information regarding each option and site is available on the Shropshire Council website here: http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/swimming-provision-in-shrewsbury and people can air their views via the council’s survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RMKFY63