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Minehead pool could be open by spring
SWIMMERS could be making a splash in Minehead as early as next spring if plans get the green light.
A £70,000 fundraising target for the pool at St Michael’s First School is within touching distance after a year-long campaign and plans have been submitted to Somerset County Council.
The development would see a 12.5m x 6m pool housed in a new polycarbonate and UPVC building which would include changing rooms, showers and solar panels, allowing renewable energy to heat the water.
If the pool passes the planning stage, it is hoped work will start in January, with swimmers able to use it just a few months later.
The pool will also be available to other schools, apart from St Michael’s, and the wider community.
The school’s PTA owns the pool, whose members have worked tirelessly to revive it.
PTA chairman Tracey Sweetland said: “I am delighted that we have almost reached our target. It has been a lot of hard work but we have been helped along by some fantastic support.
“Members of the public have been bringing in cheques and cash and many want to remain anonymous – their generosity has been really humbling.
“It’s obvious that Minehead really wants a swimming pool and we look forward to welcoming community groups to St Michael’s.”
The lack of swimming pools in West Somerset has long been lamented, particularly since the popular Aquasplash pool closed five years ago and was demolished not long afterwards.
Jim Butterworth, who runs the Watchet Dolphins swimming club at Knights Templar School’s newly-refurbished pool, said: “In a coastal area like ours I think it is vitally
important that children learn to swim, for both safety and exercise.
“We think children have a right to swim.
“Children from all over West Somerset and some from as far away as Bridgwater and Burnham have been travelling to use our pool in Watchet, so the demand is clearly there.
“I am really pleased that St Michael’s has got so much money together, it’s a great success story.”
It is thought there has been a pool at St Michael’s since 1973 – anyone who remembers the original can contact the school on 01643-702759 to share their memories of its history.