Plan for new West Denton swimming pool revealed by Newcastle council

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West Denton Leisure CentreImage source, Google
Image caption,
The new pool would be added to West Denton Leisure Centre

Plans for a new pool in Newcastle have been unveiled weeks after the council rejected calls to take an existing facility back under its control.

West Denton Pool was shut indefinitely by its operator Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) last year.

Construction at nearby West Denton Leisure Centre would cost £2.3m, compared with £4.2m needed to refurbish the existing pool, councillors said.

The pool could open in 2023 and would be "cost-effective", the council added.

Officials said they were looking at a 25m modular pool as an "easy-to-manage facility" bolted on to the leisure centre, adding it "would be the most affordable option" to ensure swimming provision in the outer west area of the city.

'Lockdown closures'

Council leader Nick Forbes, of Labour, said: "The leisure industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and we recognise the decision by GLL not to reopen was a blow to the community and swimming clubs who used it.

"We are listening to residents and with their support hope to find a solution that enables swimming to continue in West Denton."

Once a feasibility study is complete, the council will launch a public consultation, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

At a meeting last week, Liberal Democrat councillor Anita Lower warned the lack of swimming facilities for families in the area was "letting the public down".

Social enterprise organisation GLL, which was given control of several council-run leisure facilities following budget cuts, closed the existing pool in March and announced in September it would remain shut as it cut 35 jobs.

It said the loss of income caused by lockdown closures and the need to operate at a reduced capacity to enable social distancing had been "impossible to recoup".

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