AN OLYMPIC-sized swimming pool could be the main attraction at a new sports village if a new partner doubles funding to £16m.
The Express first revealed plans for a £8m sports village at the former South Kirkby Colliery site last month, but this week it was revealed that talks were to be held with a major backer which could double the size of the scheme.
Ideas for the sports facility include a bowling alley, ice-skating rink and BMX track.
The original scheme will be paid for by private investors and repaid by selling renewable energy from the site, via wind turbines, biomass energy and solar energy.
Now meetings have been set up with national funding organisation Sport England, which it is hoped will back the project with match funding.
Hemsworth town councillor Jim Kenyon is the driving force behind the plan and has joined forces with SESKU Academy manager Adam Redfern, who is hoping to get the cash from the organisation.
Mr Redfern has had success securing financial support in the past for the academy and believes the project has the potential for backing.
He said: “Sport England basically match money raised for sports projects and developments like the one Jim has already outlined, and I think it would be fantastic it they get involved. I know it’s a big vision but I really think it is possible.”
The pool would be a welcome asset to the community after Wakefield Council pulled funding for a £1.5m similar sized pool in 2010 - which had the backing for half the cash from Sport England.
If the plan goes ahead, it is hoped it will rival the likes of The Dome in Doncaster – which houses more than 50 activities under one roof.
Coun Kenyon said: “The sky’s the limit and there are so many possibilities. And with double the money, there could be double the facilitates. It could be even bigger and better than we initially imagined.”
The pair will meet with Sport England in July and then a planning application will be sent to Wakefield Council – which currently own the land.
Steve Newitt, director of Ibuildeco, who has taken on the project, said: “We have investors ready to go so we just need Wakefield Council to get on board with it.”