19/04/2022 - Permalink

Council seeks to ask public for views on Whitchurch swimming plan

Related topics: Assets and estates / Community / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet are being asked to back a public consultation on plans for a new swimming pool and leisure facilities in Whitchurch.

A report going to Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday 27 April 2022 proposes an eight-week-long consultation on the proposals to replace the existing centre, which has been closed since March 2020, with a new £12.1 million pool, rooms, gym and café.

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-

“A key priority for Shropshire Council is to improve health and wellbeing at all stages of life, and increasing participation in physical activity across the community is crucial to this.

“Everyone has been very disappointed that the current centre at Whitchurch has been unable to reopen, and this is a situation that is not going to change as the building is not structurally sound.

“A new facility would be a massive benefit to all and is something Shropshire Council is committed to delivering.”

The proposal for the brand new swimming centre features a six-lane 25m pool with a movable floor, a 35-station fitness suite, multi-function rooms and a café with 20 covers.

Cabinet is being asked to approve the consultation, with a recommendation that Full Council will recommend the capitalisation of the project once public consultation is complete.

Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, talks about swimming plans in Whitchurch and Shrewsbury:-

Shropshire Council is focused on maintaining opportunities in Shrewsbury, but rapidly escalating construction costs mean Whitchurch must take priority, as the town has been without provision for more than two years.

Major structural issues with the existing building mean it cannot be reopened in its present form.

Cecilia Motley added:-

“Swimming facilities must be maintained in Shrewsbury and we will ensure that they are. The Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre remains open.

“We acknowledge the strength of feeling there is for the facilities at The Quarry, and will continue to support the site while we explore all the options; but we must also acknowledge the reality of managing limited budgets, and be prepared to explore partnerships and the possibility of pursuing opportunities at Shrewsbury Sports Village.”

Swimming in Whitchurch will be discussed by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet at its meeting  on Wednesday 27 April 2022, which starts at 10.30am.