Harrogate council to take action over diving facilities at the Hydro which nurtured GB Olympic team members

Harrogate Borough Council is set to launch a major investment in a new diving platform at the Hydro in Harrogate after cracks in the concrete were discovered in the existing diving platform.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 11:24 am
Harrogate Hydro - The 5-metre diving platform is used predominantly by Harrogate and District Diving Club.

The find during a routine inspection prompted council officers to request a further independent survey to be carried out to establish the stability, integrity and durability of the structure.

The report identified that given the age of the existing structure, and the amount of work required, the diving platform will need to be replaced.

The 5-metre diving platform is used predominantly by Harrogate and District Diving Club who are a key diving club in the region and play a vital role in the development of divers to club standard.

Leanne Jalland, chair of Harrogate District Diving Club, said: "We are grateful that the council see the importance of investing in sports like diving which cannot function without high quality facilities.

"There are very few diving facilities left in the UK. We look forward to working with Harrogate Borough Council and the LACC to ensure the long term success and security of diving as a sport in our community."

The diving club has a long standing history of creating and nurturing talent.

GB's current team of 12 divers in Tokyo contains a number of former divers from Harrogate District Diving Club or divers who were trained by Harrogate District Diving Club members.

Among the Olympic divers ex-St Aidan's High School's Ady Hinchliffe, who dived for Harrogate District Diving Club back in 1984, has coached include Leeds-based Matty Lee who earlier won Gold earlier in the week in the men's synchronised 10m platform in partnership with Tom Daley.

Previous Harrogate District Diving Club members include Jack Laugher and Oliver Dingley who are both competing in the 2020 Olympic Games.

Trevor Watson, Harrogate Borough Council’s director of economy, environment and housing, said: "Diving is a sport which relies solely on high-quality facilities, and unlike other water sports, it cannot take part in any pool – it needs the necessary diving platform and deep water.

"We have a fantastic pool at the Hydro, and with the future investment of a new diving platform – subject to approval – we will be able to provide the necessary infrastructure to help Harrogate and District Diving Club and Brimhams Active nurture talent and create a pathway for future Olympians."

Mark Tweedie, managing director of Brimhams Active, said: "By investing in diving facilities we can ensure the legacy of an exciting and successful sport for Harrogate, the region and even the country.

"Harrogate Borough Council, Brimhams Active and Harrogate and District Diving Club play a vital role in the development of this success and I’d like to thank the council in advance for investing in this facility.

"You never know, a Harrogate district resident may be winning a gold medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics just like Tom Daly has done this week."

A report will now be submitted seeking council approval to go out to tender and appoint a contractor to carry out the works. Timescales will be announced once the approved contractor has been appointed.

In order for the work to be carried out safely, the activity pool, main pool and teaching pool may need to be closed. Customers will be kept up-to-date as and when closures may be required.