South Scotland

Trust calls Borders swimming pool closures unnecessary

Swimming boy
Image caption The council is currently considering the future of swimming pool provision in the region

A spokesman for a Borders leisure trust has said proposals to shut swimming pools in the region are not needed.

More than 250 people attended a meeting in Jedburgh this week about the future of the facility in the town.

It is one of a number of sites in the region facing proposed closure as Scottish Borders Council looks to reorganise its sports provision.

George Burt of the Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust said shutting the pools was not necessary.

"There is no need to close any pools, there are other ways of saving money other than closing pools," he said.

"That is the last thing we should be doing."

He said the costs of running the Jedburgh site had gone down since his trust took over the facility seven years ago.

"They have gone down compared with what it was costing the council previously," he said.

"It is probably half of what it was costing the council before we took over."

Strong opposition

He said his trust and a similar operation in Duns had shown pools could be run more efficiently by smaller organisations.

SBC unveiled proposals for the future of sports facilities in the region earlier this year.

Consultants Kit Campbell Associates suggested that continuing with current provision was unsustainable.

Their report included proposals to upgrade some swimming pools but closure was possible at other locations.

That suggestion has proved controversial and generated strong opposition in the towns affected.

Consultation on the plans remains open until the end of January and a special conference has also been arranged in Galashiels on 12 December.

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