No warm water pool for Keynsham, campaigners told
Published on: 06 Feb 2017
Campaigners’ calls for warm water pools to be included in the refurbishment of Keynsham and Bath’s leisure centres have been turned down.
Bath and North East Somerset Council said the request by the Warm Water Inclusive Swimming and Exercise (WWISE) group was not financially viable – and would result in Sport England withdrawing £1.5 million of funding as it would scupper club and competition swimming in Bath.
WWISE says people with disabilities, injury and long-term illnesses need a new public access warm water pool in the B&NES area to help them improve their conditions and maintain fitness.
The council said it had investigated the request for dedicated 1.2 to 1.3-metre deep pools heated to at least 32 degrees and consulted with a number of organisations, including Sport England, none of whom supported the proposal.
Councillor Martin Veal, Cabinet member for community services, said: “As part of the refurbishments at both sites we have carefully considered the requests of the WWISE group. However, they are not financially viable based on costs and anticipated usage numbers.
“We have consulted with a range of specialists, including the Amateur Swimming Association, Sport England, our leisure partners Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) along with independent advisors.
“None of these organisations were supportive of the inclusion of warm water pools within the leisure refurbishments. It would have also resulted in the withdrawal of £1.5 million in funding from Sport England, as club and competition swimming in Bath would no longer be possible.”
Both leisure centres will provide new 90cm to one-metre-deep teaching pools with water that is heated to 30-32C, it was also confirmed.
Mr Veal said: “Bath & North East Council is committed to providing excellent leisure facilities in both the Bath and Keynsham leisure centres.
“During these extremely challenging financial times we must deliver leisure facilities that support all people to live healthy lifestyles and are financially viable. The new teaching pools will provide facilities for young people to learn to swim in a safe and controlled environment. Currently, neither the Bath or Keynsham sites offer dedicated teaching pools.”