Campaign to bring swimming pool to Shefford gathers momentum
- Credit: Archant
A campaign to bring a swimming pool to a town is gathering momentum.
Catherine King is campaigning to bring an indoor pool to Shefford and her Facebook group dedicated to the project has accrued more than 1,350 likes in under two weeks.
Ms King, who lives in Shefford, said: “I have three children and have spent a lot of time and money taking them to a Biggleswade pool for swimming lessons. If we want a sustainable community it is crazy that we don’t have somewhere for young children to learn how to swim here.
“We have three deep rivers in Shefford which are not fenced off and during the summer young children could jump in and no one would know they were there, so it is important that they learn how to swim. It is part of the national curriculum for children to be able to swim 25 metres by the age of 11.
“I have been surprised by the level of support the campaign has had in the last couple of weeks, the group had 1,000 likes on Facebook in two days. I have had a huge amount of positive feedback and I am determine not to give up on this. I have been invited by Central Bedfordshire Council to speak about the matter, which is encouraging.”
Ms King believes that a swimming pool could be incorporated in the plans for a housing development on Wag Field between Campton Road and Ampthill Road, which includes land set aside for community use.
This would allow Shefford Lower School and Robert Bloomfield Academy to use the facilities for swimming lessons for their pupils. Other suggestions for community use put forward by the developers have been bungalows, a village hall, allotments and a pre-school nursery.
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Cllr Anthony Brown, who represents the Shefford ward on Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We would support the campaign for a new swimming pool, but there are exceptional costs involved. It would cost around £3.5 million to be built and that is without the running costs, so it would not be a cheap option. But I have spoken with Catherine and I have advised her to get a petition with 1,000 signatures which I can then present to the council.
“The developers of the land off Campton Road and Ampthill Road have indicated that 10 bungalows could be built on the land set aside for community use, which would leave no room for a swimming pool, but until they release a full planning application we won’t know what they want to do with it.”
Ms King intends to start collecting paper signatures at Shefford Summer Fete which is being held at Shefford Town Memorial Hall on June 1.
To support the campaign search for Swimming Pool for Shefford on www.facebook.com