Amending plans to make Ripon’s new swimming pool a six-lane facility with a teaching pool “has not been ruled out,” Harrogate Borough Council has confirmed today.
Members of the Ripon Pool Action Group (RPAG) who have been campaigning for the changes, have welcomed the news as a “step in the right direction.”
The existing plans include a five-lane 25 metre swimming pool to replace the city’s ageing Spa Baths, but the group is clear on its stance that the proposals are not good enough.
RPAG member Dewi Winkle said: “It’s an improvement, but it’s not what Ripon deserves. We all have a passion as a group to make sure that the right pool is built. If you don’t get it right, it’s there for the next 100 years and you can’t change it.
“There is no city or town the size of Ripon that doesn’t have a learner pool built as part of a facility. It doesn’t make financial sense not to have one, if you want to run the facility at a profit. It would create a space where everyone can swim, with teaching going on at the same time for youngsters. It would maximise opportunities for the future children of Ripon.”
Dewi said the group has been doing a lot of research and consultation with schools and organisations like Sport England about the need for a teaching pool and a six-lane facility.
He said: “Hopefully the council will implement these changes, it’s the right thing to happen in Ripon.”
The leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Coun Richard Cooper, said amending the plans has not been ruled out, and that the council is currently looking into the costs of making the changes.
Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, Stanley Lumley, said: “Naturally, reversing the work we have already done costs money and takes time.
"I will have to decide whether that is justified when one considers the fact that Ripon Spa Baths could fail at any time and that the new facility is, as the group acknowledge, a substantial improvement on what is currently available.”