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£275,000 work plan for Ryedale's swimming pools
RYEDALE’S two swimming pools are to get improvement work costing £275,000 over the next four years.
The funding has been approved by the district council’s commissioning board for the Derwent Pool in Norton and the Ryedale Pool in Pickering. The decision now has to go to the full council for ratification.
Coun Steve Arnold, the committee chairman, said: “In the long-term we hope to replace the Derwent Pool but it needs a new site.”
In the meantime, it is to get improvements to the roof and showers.
“It is a well-used pool and a great asset to the southern area of Ryedale,” he said.
The Ryedale Pool is in good condition, said Coun Arnold, but it needs some maintenance work carried out, especially to the heating system to make it more economical to run.
“The bottom line is that the council is anxious to encourage more people to take up swimming as well as encourage those already using the pools to use them more.
“Swimming is a great way to keep fit and is a sport which can be enjoyed by all the family from toddlers to pensioners.”
Council officers said the aim was to improve the internal environment of the pool hall and make better use of energy. Work costing £35,000 is to be carried out to the complex.
Phil Long, the council’s head of environment, streetscene and facilities, said that if money was not invested in the Derwent Pool it could be difficult to continue it. The spending due to be carried on the pool out aimed to extend its life.
On the possiblity replacing of the pool, Mr Long said such a scheme would cost £4 million, assuming a site was available.
A new pool could be built in Norton, said Mr Long, adding: “Based on current access issues, it will not be possible to develop the existing Derwent Pool site, nor has it much value and there is likely to be a significant clearance cost.
“Therefore, on top of any cost of a new pool, site identification and purchase will be a key issue.”
Mr Long warned that “a sizeable financial contribution” would be needed from the district council towards a new pool.
Borrowing the money was not affordable, and the council’s New Homes Bonus, given by the government for approval of housing schemes, was earmarked for the next three years.
The district council had less than £1 million available for capital schemes and the money may be needed to maintain current services and facilities.
“The prospect of replacing the pool within the next five years, is low,” he said.
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