New pool by 2015 if leisure plan agreed

Daniel Ward, Duty Manager at the Mildenhall Swimming Pool,
Daniel Ward, Duty Manager at the Mildenhall Swimming Pool,
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A new swimming pool could open in Mildenhall as soon as 2015 if a leisure proposal gets the go-ahead.

The existing pool, in Recreation Way, was built in 1974.

Tony Bass, chief executive of operator Anglia Community Leisure, said it was a “building past its sell by date”.

Forest Heath District Council has earmarked 
£3 million for a new pool.

Cllr Warwick Hirst, Forest Heath District Council’s portfolio holder for health leisure and culture, said: “The basic plan is that there must be a pool for Mildenhall.”

He said Forest Heath and Suffolk County Council were considering building a new leisure facility with a pool on the site of the former Riverside Middle School, in Sheldrick Way.

The site is currently used by Mildenhall College.

Cllr Hirst said the district council, which owns the pool, is committed to keeping it open until a new one is built.

Mr Bass said: “We are currently still working on ensuring we keep the building operational. I’m aware the district and county councils are looking at further leisure provision.”

He said the pool was an important and widely used community facility but repairs were becoming increasingly expensive due to its age.

Mildenhall and District Swimming Club uses the pool up to six nights a week

Club’s president Wendy Read said: “The pool is very old now. It would be nice to have a new one or even revamped. We do not want to do nothing,” she said.

She suggested plans for a new pool should include six lanes, instead of four at the existing pool, and a baby pool.