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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbrian swimming pool could be turned into skatepark

An open-air swimming pool, which is more than 40 years old, could be transformed into a skate park.

Aspatria pool photo
The pool committee members, residents and children

Young people in Aspatria were asked what they wanted most in the community and the response was resoundingly in favour of a skate park.

It comes after the town’s swimming pool, which was built in 1970 following a community fundraising drive, closed for good in 2012.

A committee had originally been formed to run the pool, which was regularly used by pupils from Beacon Hill School, and owned by Cumbria County Council.

But the school said it could no longer afford to use it or contribute to its running costs and it was eventually mothballed.

Local residents launched a campaign to save the pool last year, which ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Committee members then held a survey among members of the Aspatria Dreamscheme who said they would rather see a new skate park built instead of a pool, which would only be able to open temporarily for a few weeks every summer.

Colin Ainsworth, from the pool committee, has now contacted the county council to see if it would be possible to demolish the pool in return for £100,000 to fund a new skate park.

He said: “The council replied that a deal of this sort would not be possible, but an application for the skate park grant might be looked upon favourably.”

A public meeting is now to be held to discuss the way forward.

Mr Ainsworth said decisions will be made as to whether the community will take over the ownership of the pool, with a new charitable trust set up to run it.

Mr Ainsworth added that he would be willing to join the trust to help get it started, but would be retiring soon after as he has been involved with the pool for the past 30 years.

“New, younger, committed community members will be required and I hope they will attend the meeting,” said Mr Ainsworth.

“Without new members a charity trust will not be possible.”

The other options, he said, include giving up on the pool altogether and concentrating solely on a new skate park, or trying to secure both.

The meeting will take place in the community hall in King Street on Wednesday, April 23, at 7pm.

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