Sink or swim for much-loved pool in Leeds

Pupils at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School.
Pupils at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School.
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Residents in an east Leeds community are aiming to make a big splash by raising the funds needed to save their local swimming pool.

The pool at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School is currently closed and will require around £45,000 of improvement work before it can reopen.

A fundraising campaign was recently started by residents in the village to find the money that will restore the facility to its former glory.

And, just three months after its launch, the campaign has already brought in more than £9,000 through events including a sponsored run and a pledge of support from the Barwick and Scholes Community Fund.

The initiative echoes the fundraising that paid for the original construction of the nine-metre-long ‘starter’ pool back in 1965.

When it reopens, it will be used by children from the federation of Scholes (Elmet) and Wetherby St James’ Primary Schools and also for private swimming lessons for other young members of the community.

Scholes (Elmet) Primary executive headteacher Pamela Edwards said: “To raise 20 per cent of our overall target in 12 weeks has been amazing and is a real testament to the local residents and the affection felt for our pool.

“The pool is a great source of pride and we are determined to ensure children from the school and the wider local community can enjoy this facility for many years to come.”

Reflecting on the original pool fundraising campaign, long-time Scholes resident Ron Dunk said: “Back then nobody had much money. We didn’t have cars and we didn’t eat out. You made your own entertainment in your own community. The entire village came together to provide the local children with the much-loved pool.”

For more details on the current fundraising efforts, e-mail savescholespool@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/savescholespool.

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