St Neots pool project inches closer with group set to get on board

St Neots.

St Neots. - Credit: Archant

Residents are pushing forward with the process of bringing a new leisure facility to St Neots by joining together to influence the management of the project.

Following a meeting between selected members of the St Neots Recreation Facebook group and the town council on Monday, December 1, the 10 volunteers required have expressed an interest in becoming co-opted members of the St Neots Swimming Pool Trust.

This means that, if ratified by the town council, they could then be permitted to sit in on meetings of the trust and put together a business plan during a transitional period of one year.

After this time, if approved, responsibility could be handed over to the 10 co-opted members and possibly two councillors. Currently, all town councillors are members of the trust.

This would allow residents more of a voice and may heal the divide in opinion about what type of water-based leisure facility should be placed on the former outdoor swimming pool site in Huntingdon Road.

The project has gained attention from the community, with the Facebook group alone attracting 1,500 members. There are a number of ideas proposed for the outdoor pool site – which was closed in 2003 and filled in 2005 - including a splash park, outdoor pool and indoor pool. Ed Reilly, St Neots town clerk, said: “At the point in a year’s time where it comes to handing it over it would be set up as a charitable incorporated organisation, which is a modern approach with a bit more protection for the trustees.

“Once we have got the names of the people and it is clear what the direction is then perhaps we will have a public meeting with the 10 co-opted trustees.

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“I think this really is the way it should be done and I’m really quite pleased with the direction it is taking.”

The matter will be discussed in January, possibly before the full council meeting on January 13.

Philip Rourke, a member of the group, said that they circulated the request for interest online and approached others directly.

“We have reached the magic 10 that we were asked for and that’s good news – we are just about to go back to the town council and let them know the names of those. I’m quite excited that it looks like it should go forward.

“What will happen on the site is still up in the air – it’s going to depend completely on what is viable and sustainable.

“I think we have got a lot of bases covered - everybody brings a different perspective to it.

“It would be useful to have more help, even though we have the co-opted members there are still things that other people can bring to the table,” he said.

INFORMATION: If you would like to get involved, email Particular areas of expertise needed include marketing, finance and business.