College to run £5m swim pool in South Elmsall?

Campaigners protesting against the closure of the old Minsthorpe Swimming Pool last August
Campaigners protesting against the closure of the old Minsthorpe Swimming Pool last August
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A COLLEGE could be set to run a planned new multi-million pound swimming pool as Wakefield Council seeks to slash costs on leisure services.

Wakefield Council closed the old Minsthorpe Swimming Pool in South Elmsall near Pontefract for repairs in 2012 and later shut it down permanenetly after saying it it was not financially viable to upgrade it.

At next Tuesday’s meeting of Wakefield Council’s cabinet committee, members will be asked to rubber stamp proposals to build a new pool at Minsthorpe Community College.

The council has budgeted £5m to build the pool, which would be run by the college.

The cabinet committee will be told that allowing the college to run the pool will save the local authority around £200,000 a year, even with an annual council contribution of around £135,000 towards running costs.

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We will ensure that we have a legal agreement with the college to keep the swimming pool accessible and affordable for all.”

Ray Henshaw, principal of Minsthorpe Community College, said: “As a college we are connected to our community and want to extend the opportunities for swimming and learning to swim to everyone in the area. We want to develop a truly accessible facility and I can assure people it will be open for all to use.”

Andy Picken, spokesman for Minsthorpe Pool Action Group which campaigned for the old pool to be re-opened, said: “I think it is good news for the area but we are still unhappy as a community at the way it has been done. We would have preferred a new pool at the old site on Ash Grove.”

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