Location for new £5m pool announced

Minsthorpe Community College has been chosen as the site for the new �5m swimming pool for the Hemsworth/South Elmsall area.'Ray Henshaw, Minsthorpe Principal, Coun Jean Askew (ward member) and Coun Les Shaw (cabinet member)
Minsthorpe Community College has been chosen as the site for the new �5m swimming pool for the Hemsworth/South Elmsall area.'Ray Henshaw, Minsthorpe Principal, Coun Jean Askew (ward member) and Coun Les Shaw (cabinet member)
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Councillors are being asked to approve Minsthorpe Community College as the location for a new £5m swimming pool in the south east.

The report to the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, November 11 will also recommend approving the college runs the pool as a community facility to complement its existing leisure provision.

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “I’m delighted that Minsthorpe Community College is keen to work with us to enhance their existing community leisure facilities and help provide this much-needed swimming pool for the south east of the district.”

Minsthorpe Swimming Pool in South Elmsall closed in April last year because of maintenance problems. A crack was found in the pool and the pool filtration system was in ‘poor condition’.

The Express backed a campaign to have the pool reopened or have a new facility built in the area.

Coun Shaw added: “We had no choice but to close the existing pool and officers have worked hard to find a solution which will allow us to build a modern, fit-for-purpose swimming pool and give local people the high quality leisure facility they deserve.

“Our consultation told us that local people were broadly supportive of Minsthorpe as the location and the majority were not concerned about a provider other than the council running a new pool.

“We will ensure that we have a legal agreement with the college to keep the swimming pool accessible and affordable for all.”

Councillors will also be told that allowing the college to run the pool will amount to savings of around £200,000 each year even with a council contribution of around £135,000 a year to running costs.

Members of Minsthorpe Pool Action Group (MPAG) welcomed the announcement but expressed fears over the council not running the pool.

David Fitzgerald, group spokesman, said:“Whilst we welcome that WMDC has finally made an announcement about a location for a new pool in the south east we do feel that the opinions of the residents have been ignored.

“The results of our survey of over 300 local people did not show that people were broadly supportive of Minsthorpe College as the location and there were serious concerns that a facility not being run by Wakefield Council would lead to higher prices to use the facility in the long term.”

Local councillors have backed the decision to build the new pool at Minsthorpe Community College.

South Elmsall Coun Steve Tulley, said: “The area deserves great quality leisure facilities and the new pool at Minsthorpe will allow local people to take advantage of a 21st century facility which is long overdue.”