Swimming pool bid ‘can unite Swaffham’, campaign leaders say

The Buttercross in Swaffham. ENGANL00120140402160040
The Buttercross in Swaffham. ENGANL00120140402160040
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Town councillors have given their backing to a new bid to build a swimming pool in Swaffham.

The authority is now set to hold further discussions next week about how it will support the project, having agreed in principle to do so at their latest meeting.

And the duo leading the campaign say the project can unite the whole town.

Although a pool of its own has been a long-standing ambition, the idea was revived last year when town residents Carolyn Watts and Helen Manson set out their vision for the facility.

They are proposing to build a heated, outdoor pool, which is expected to cost around £1.5 million, around a quarter of the estimated cost of an indoor facility.

Mrs Manson said they were appealing for the council’s backing for the pool, which they hope will be built next year if sufficient support and finance is generated.

A site has been identified, though help is required to secure the land, and the Green Britain Centre had already agreed for its biomass boiler to be used to heat the pool if it is built.

And she believes that support shows the potential of the scheme for the whole community.

She said: “The more people we can include, the more exciting we can make this project and we can make it something the people of Swaffham can be really proud of.”

Ms Watts and Mrs Manson are now co-chairs of the Swaffham Swimming Pool Association (SPA) says around £14,000 generated from the group’s fundraising over the years would be available to fund development work on the project.

Further discussions of the issue are now set to take place when the council holds its quarterly finance meeting on Monday.

However, the meeting was told the project was unlikely to benefit from a £310,000 funding pot announced by Breckland Council last week for sport and play projects.

More than £40,000 of that is available for schemes in the Swaffham area, but it is not expected that a formal proposal will be completed ahead of the closing date for applications on May 13.