Outdoor pool in two years’

ST NEOTS should have a new outdoor swimming pool within two years. The town councillors who form the Swimming Pool Trust have announced that the site of the former outdoor pool in Huntingdon Street is soon to be sold and redeveloped as a St Neots campus o

ST NEOTS should have a new outdoor swimming pool within two years.

The town councillors who form the Swimming Pool Trust have announced that the site of the former outdoor pool in Huntingdon Street is soon to be sold and redeveloped as a St Neots campus of Huntingdonshire Regional College.

However, the plans for a new swimming pool are also said to be moving forward with a stretch of land identified for the project.

And the trust is confident it has found the right site and the facilities will be open by the summer of 2009.

Councillor Derek Giles said: "Obviously, our first concern is to provide a new outdoor pool.

"We have identified Riversmead as the likely site, as it already hosts a number of leisure activities.

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"In my opinion the new pool could be ready by summer 2009 as long as there no delays in planning."

St Neots Mayor Cllr Bob Eaton told The Hunts Post the people of St Neots want - and will get - an outdoor pool. He agreed that the target date of summer 2009 was an "achievable" deadline, although no designs have yet been made public.

It is still unclear if the new pool will be a like-for-like match of the old Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool, which was deemed unsafe and too expensive to operate and was closed in 2003.

Arguably, an Olympic-size pool could still prove too expensive to run, and the residents who protested for the former pool to be reopened may have to settle for something smaller.

At a packed public meeting held in June to discuss ways of spending Peter Rowley's ­£1million gift to the town, a swimming pool came a close second to a cinema for the town.

Councillor Paul Ursell, chairman of the Swimming Pool Trust, said: "We were forced to close the pool and it was not a decision we took lightly. We know how much the residents want a new swimming pool and we are committed to delivering it."

INFORMATION: Does St Neots need an outdoor swimming pool? Send you views to editor@huntspost.co.uk or write to: The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.

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