A swimming pool for Market Rasen ‘remains an aspiration’, promised West Lindsey District Council as a petition by local residents gathered momentum.
As previously reported, a petition to replace plans for a “dry leisure” facility with a swimming pool has attracted over 2,000 signatures from residents in Market Rasen.
Plans to build leisure centre off Gainsborough Road were announced by West Lindsey Distrct Council in June, despite the fact the town already has a similar facility with gym, 3G football pitch and sports hall.
Julie Lambie, who created the Facebook group Market Rasen Swimming Pool, told Lincolnshire Reporter that the new committee group MRAG (Market Rasen Action Group) has a meeting on Monday, July 23.
‘Not ruling a swimming pool out’
Executive Director of economic and commercial growth at West Lindsey District Council, Eve Fawcett-Moralee, said: “We are not ruling a swimming pool out. There was always going to be an option going forward. It still remains an aspiration.
“What we have to do for the town and immediate area is to create sufficient mass to justify the expense so it won’t lose the council revenue and it will be a self-sustaining facility.
“The dry leisure facility is very much a stage one. The land we have bought will have the scope to add a swimming pool in the future. It backs on to the primary school, town council facilities and a hotel.
“There’s more than enough land surplus there. However, there is not the population there at the moment to make it work.
“The focus of the town council is to look at improving the lifestyle offer and economy of the town to attract new residents to the circa 700 new homes, which already has planning permission in the town.
“This new resident base will be instrumental in creating the business case for additional facilities like the swimming pool. ”
Leader of the Council, Councillor Jeff Summers, added: “The council has been aware residents in the town have been disappointed in the lack of leisure provision in Market Rasen for some time.
“We realised quickly that a commercial operator would not provide a facility in the town as this is not commercially viable.
“Instead of doing nothing, the council has levered in its existing leisure contract to cross fund this exciting development.
“West Lindsey District Council has committed to investing £7.8 million in leisure across the whole of the district.
“The majority of this (£6.3 million) is being invested into Market Rasen, which is a significant investment that would not have been achievable without taking this holistic approach to our leisure contract.”