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Quarry swimming pool Shrewsbury

Council releases key findings of Shrewsbury swimming consultation

Shropshire Council has released a summary of the high level key findings following its recent consultation to gather people's views on the future of swimming in Shrewsbury. The five-month consultation, which closed on Friday 30th October 2015, received nearly 2,000 responses from individuals, partners, clubs, groups, councillors and businesses across the county on the following seven different site options:

· The refurbishment of the existing Quarry Pool

· The renovation of the existing Quarry Pool.

· A new build on site of the existing Quarry Pool.

· A new build on land at Clayton Way.

· A new build on land at Ellesmere Road.

· A new build on land at the Shrewsbury Sports Village.

· A new build on land at Shrewsbury College.

Combined, the Quarry options represent 68.06% of the most preferred responses, with a new build on the Quarry site receiving 22.89%, a refurbishment of the Quarry receiving 23.50% and an upgrade of the Quarry receiving 21.67%.

Respondents cited central location, accessibility, economic impact on the town centre and convenience as the main reasons for the Quarry preference.

The Sports Village was the most preferred alternative location (16.54%) with respondents citing the complementarity existing facilities, ease of access and good parking.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council's Deputy Leader, and Cabinet member with responsibility for leisure services, said:

"All of the options for the Quarry received more preferred responses than any of the alternative site options. The renovation of the existing pool came out on top, but all three options are very close."

Respondents also registered concern over the loss of the current four pools and the ability to meet the current diverse use with less water space. Learn to swim provision came out as the most important element of a swimming facility, with proximity to public transport links and a timetable that caters for all also seen as important.

Steve added: "These are just the headline findings and there's lots more valuable information to sort through and analyse.

"For this we've decided to enlist the help of an independent company. We hope that this will ensure a proposal, which is right for everyone, is brought forward to be considered and decided upon by Cabinet."

Shrewsbury BID Executive Director, Kirsten Henly, said: "As a voice for the business community, we have serious concerns about the future location of Quarry Swimming Pool and the economic impact any move out of the town would have on Shrewsbury town centre. Whilst we welcome the findings, which clearly show the Quarry site as a preferred location, some further analysis and modelling now needs to be carried out. We're pleased the Council are taking more time to look in detail at the response and hope that this strong consultation feedback helps to focus minds on planning for the pool to stay part of the town centre's broader leisure offer."

It is expected that a proposal will be considered by Cabinet in spring 2016.

Full response breakdown

Option

% of most preferred

Refurbishment of the Quarry

23.50%

New build on the Quarry site

22.89%

Upgrade of the Quarry

21.67%

New build on Shrewsbury Sports Village

16.54%

New build on Shrewsbury College London Road

13.17%

New build on Clayton Way

1.42%

New build on land at Ellesmere Road

0.81%

Other survey findings

· 1,924 people took part in the online survey - this represents one of the largest participation rates for a consultation of this type by Shropshire Council.

· 55.42% of respondents to the survey were female.

· 40.01% of respondents were from the SY3 postcode area (this is mainly to the west and south west of the town including Copthorne, Bayston Hill, Bicton Heath, Longden Coleham, Radbrook).

· SY1 (north Shrewsbury and Town Centre) and SY2 (Abbey Foregate, Monkmoor and Underdale) combined make up less respondents than SY3.

· The majority of respondents were in the 30-44 and 45-59 age groups.

· 61% of respondents only use the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre.

· Most people swim on their own or with their children/ grandchildren.

· Over 50% of users visit the Quarry pool once or several times a week.