Extra funding for Dorchester's new swimming pool

Dorchester's new swimming pool project has received another boost thanks to an extra grant from Sport England. An additional £102,500 has been awarded by Sport England's national Free Swimming Capital Modernisation Programme on top of the £500,000 received earlier this year. This extra money comes after the planning application for the new facilities was submitted, following an exhibition where local people were asked to comment on the designs for the new leisure centre.

It is proposed that the new 25 metre, six lane pool will be built near the existing Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre in Coburg Road and will be open to local people at all times. Work on the replacement pool could begin in the New Year with the new facility open in early 2011.

The funding was offered to councils participating in the free swimming scheme for people aged 16 and under and 60 and over. Since free swimming was introduced at Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre in April, the number of people swimming at the centre has more than doubled.

So far over 8,500 over 60s and almost 20,000 under 16s have taken advantage of the free swimming scheme which is part of the Government's £140 million free swimming initiative.

Headteacher of The Thomas Hardye School and Chairman of the Swimming Pool Project Board, Dr Iain Melvin said: "We welcome this additional funding from Sport England and look forward to being able to provide residents with modern, efficient facilities that encourage people to have more active lives."

West Dorset District Council Leader Robert Gould said: "We are delighted to receive this additional support from Sport England for Dorchester's new swimming pool. It is great to see that more are taking advantage of the free swimming initiative and I hope more people will continue to take up this opportunity to enjoy free swimming and to improve their health and well-being.

"A planning application was submitted for the new swimming pool in August 2009. This represents real progress for this major project to provide up-to-date facilities for Dorchester and surrounding district.   Although the District Council will be providing the lion’s share of the funding it is an excellent example of what can be achieved by partnership working, in this case with Thomas Hardye School, Dorset County Council and the Duchy of Cornwall.

"Extensive consultation on the details of the design took place and I think the architects have come up with an exciting solution.  There can’t be many other local authorities undertaking such a project in the current economic climate. It’s well worth having a look at the full plans on-line and comments are welcome until 2 October 2009.

A further exhibition is being held at the Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre on Friday 25 September 2009, 5pm to 7pm, where residents can find out more about the new swimming pool facilities.

Comments on the planning application for the new swimming pool can be made until 2 October 2009. You can also comment on Robert Gould's blog post about the plans.


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Published
12:57:53 25.09.2009
 
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