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Jobs hope as momentum builds behind new Fakenham pool plea

Dozens of new jobs could be created if calls for a new outdoor swimming pool in Fakenham come to fruition, according to campaign leaders.

More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition backing the Lido project in the first 10 days since a new call for the development was issued.

And campaign organisers say they are seeking a feasibility study of the idea, as they urge residents and political representatives to get behind it.

Land near the Fakenham Sports Centre has been identified as a potential site for a pool.
Land near the Fakenham Sports Centre has been identified as a potential site for a pool.

Officials from the Active Fakenham group, which is leading the new campaign, say they have identified a potential site for a pool off Trap Lane, close to the town’s existing sports centre.

Further discussions have been taking place in recent days, and officials hope the project could potentially attract a share of a £220 million central government Community Renewal Fund, initially for an assessment of the project.

Active Fakenham chairman Richard Crook said they had seen research showing a similar pool facility employed 50 staff, mostly in part-time roles, even before its management was considered.

He said: “The Lido is a much needed and popular project for the town.

“It would provide health and well-being benefits, be Covid-resilient, generate income so not cost anything to run, it will create jobs and training opportunities and will support the town centre by bringing additional people to the town.

“There would clearly be knock on employment effects to the town, many training opportunities.”

A special town council meeting, which is due to take place this Thursday from 6pm, will discuss potential bids to the fund, whose monies have to be spent during the current financial year, if they are secured.

North Norfolk is one of 100 priority districts, along with West Norfolk, identified for the fund by the government and the district council has set up a Fakenham steering group to consider potential projects.

The scale of public support for a pool has already been demonstrated by the 1,228 signatures which had been added to an online petition, set up via the change.org platform, launched by Active Fakenham on April 23, as of this morning.

The petition calls on the town, district and county councils to work with Active Fakenham to progress the project.

Mr Crook said: “we need more support from Fakenham’s elected representatives and people in the town.”

The group estimates that around 80 per cent of signatories are from Fakenham or surrounding villages, although people from as far afield as London have also signed.

The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/north-norfolk-district-council-build-the-fakenham-lido.

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