Mums present plan for outdoor swimming pool in Swaffham

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Two mothers have unveiled a plan which could see a new outdoor swimming pool built in Swaffham if there is enough public support.

The Swaffham and District Swimming Pool Association (SPA) suspended its long-running campaign for a facility two years ago.

But now, two residents, Carolyn Watts and Helen Manson, have put forward their own idea for a heated, outdoor pool in the town, which they claim could provide a completely new approach to swimming in the town.

Ms Watts said yesterday: “We are two mums who would like to swim in Swaffham and we’d like our children to swim in Swaffham.”

Currently, the closest pool for Swaffham residents to use is the one at Dereham, a journey of just over 20 minutes each way.

And Ms Watts said they had been advised that it would be difficult to secure funding for a new pool solely on a geographical basis.

But she said public support could make all the difference, adding: “If we can demonstrate that people are really behind the idea that would outweigh it.”

Ms Watts said the operators of similar facilities in Cornwall and Hampshire have already been approached for advice on the issue.

And the report also said that the Dereham pool is often full already and the situation could get worse following the closure of the pool in Fakenham.

The initiative, which is not connected to the SPA, was also welcomed by town councillors when they debated it at their meeting on Wednesday evening.

Jill Skinner said: “I think it’s quite heroic of these people to come forward. I think they should be encouraged.”

Terry Jennison said she was initially concerned by the outdoor part of the plan, but added: “I’ve spoken to quite a few young people and they loved it.”

And David Wickerson called for further talks to take place.

The report has also suggested that a meeting of all interested parties should be held before costs are established and plans can be further developed.

Anyone interested in the plan should email swaffhamoutdoorpool@hotmail.com.