Plans revealed to build new splash park in St Neots

St Neots

St Neots - Credit: Archant

Plans to build a new splash park or water facility in St Neots were revealed at a full town council meeting last week.

Councillors heard a presentation from businessman Mick Marks and solicitor Caroline Gregson who will sit on a newly-formed Swimming Pool Trust that will undertake planning, building and running of the new facility.

Details of how the organisation will be administered are still being finalised with the Charities Commission and the new body will take on the assets of the old Swimming Pool Trust. The outdoor pool opened in 1961, closed in 2003 and was demolished in 2005.

Originally, it was thought the new trust would opt to build a swimming pool, but Mr Marks told councillors the cost was likely to be prohibitive. He said research had shown a pool was likely to cost upwards of £2 million to build and somewhere in the region of £100,000 a year to maintain.

“We have done some preliminary work and it looks like the set up and the running costs of a swimming pool would not be financially viable,” he said.

“A splash park would be of lower cost, less maintenance and cheaper to run. There are a number of options and as of yet no firm decisions have been made, we are looking at all the options.”

The new trust will be run under the Charity Commission’s Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) model and will be made up of six members whose first tasks will be to deal with finding a site, funds and a current lease arrangement with Eat ‘n’ Bowl, also in Huntingdon Street.

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Mr Marks said he could not confirm at this stage whether the new facility would be built on the Huntingdon Street site or if this land would be sold and a new location found.

The new trustees hope to be able to present a business plan early in the new year and will carry out some public consultation.