A FEASIBILITY study has ruled out Coventry still having a 50-metre Olympic swimming pool, following massive public protest against the current pool’s closure.
Around 11,000 people signed one of the largest petitions ever received by the council against proposals to close the Olympic-sized pool at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre, Fairfax Street, city centre, by 2019, due to high maintenance costs.
Councillors voted for closure last September, and allocated £36million for a new water park and smaller 25m pool in council-owned building Christchurch House in New Union Street.
The ruling Labour cabinet had invited the City of Coventry Swimming Club to consider taking over the running of the Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre and 50m pool without on-going council taxpayer subsidies, and with grants from other sources.
The feasibility study, led by the Amateur Swimming Association with council officer support, was also set up to establish if a pool could be retained on site, or at another site in Coventry or the wider region.
The study’s results announced today are that retaining a 50metre competition pool in Coventry is not feasible. But work would consider to examine possibilities for the wider Coventry region.
Councillor Kevin Maton, cabinet member for business, added: “The ASA has considered the possibility of refurbishing the pool at Fairfax Street and, like us, they have concluded that, as much as they might wish to keep the 50metre pool it just isn’t financially viable.
“What’s more, even if lots of cash could be committed to refurbishing it, the facility still wouldn’t meet the competition standards for the sport or the standards of access we expect today, and it would still be way down the national list for attracting major swimming galas and events.”