Reading needs a new 50m swimming pool facility by Jan 2021
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We the undersigned residents of Reading and its environs, fully support the need for a new 50m swimming pool facility being opened within 3 years of Reading Borough Council (RBC) closing both Arthur Hill Pool and Reading Central Swimming pool. We call upon Jo Lovelock (Chair) and Sarah Hacker (Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services) at Reading Borough Council (RBC) to:
o Work with the residents, Aquatic Clubs of Reading, and Swim England to deliver this much needed facility.
o Ensure that it is opened by 1 January 2021 at the very latest.
Plans were in place to close both Reading Central and Arthur Hill swimming pools as far back as 2006. At the time, Reading Borough Council (RBC) advised the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport that pools would “remain open until the new facility is ready.” In the review of leisure facilities and future provision in November 2015, the Council “anticipated that it will take a minimum period of 4-5 years to deliver a replacement facility for Central Pool.” We the undersigned are concerned that concrete, timely and financially viable plans are not in place to do this.
Swim England has strongly recommended to RBC that Reading build a new 50m swimming pool facility as it is cheaper to build and more economical to operate than two 25m pools. RBC’s proposal, which has not been economically evaluated, is for two 25m pools on separate sites.
If we don’t do anything now, there will be woefully inadequate facilities for generations of swimmers of every age and ability in Reading. There is clear and compelling evidence for the health and wellbeing benefits of swimming for young and old alike; such facilities are vitally important for all members of the community, not just competitive swimmers.
The closure of Reading Central Swimming Pool has negatively affected the training capability of a number of aquatic clubs which are now without a permanent home or competition facility: Reading Swimming Club, Reading Cygnets, Reading Masters, Reading Water Polo, Reading Royals Synchronised Swimming, Reading Albatross Diving Club, and Reading Underwater Hockey Club.
RG50 Make a Big SPLASH!! has been established to campaign for a new 50m pool in Reading (with the flexibility to function as two individual 25m pools), and associated facilities including a teaching/warm-up pool and a 10m high diving board with deep water pit. A swimming facility of this nature will benefit all generations now and for the foreseeable future. It is time for us all to work together to Make a Big SPLASH!! and shout out loud RG 50!!
For further information look up our Facebook group: RG 50
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