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Hopes rise for Halesworth pool and gym

PUBLISHED: 11:21 11 December 2009 | UPDATED: 08:58 01 August 2010

PLANS for a new indoor swimming pool and fitness gym for Halesworth are on the horizon in what has been hailed as a "major boost" for the town.

The town's open air pool closed just over a year ago leaving local people having to travel several miles to access alternative facilities.

PLANS for a new indoor swimming pool and fitness gym for Halesworth are on the horizon in what has been hailed as a “major boost” for the town.

The town's open air pool closed just over a year ago leaving local people having to travel several miles to access alternative facilities.

But this week Tony Goldson, chairman of Halesworth Playing Field Association, revealed that it had been in negotiations with Waveney District Council about getting a new indoor swimming pool and fitness gym for the town.

He said: “The town's open air swimming pool on Dairy Hill closed just over a year ago. It wasn't cost effective and needed serious upgrading and Waveney could no longer afford to subsidise it. They withdrew funding and the Playing Field Association couldn't run it, so it was closed.

“Since then we have been in negotiations with Waveney District Council. They are in the process of procuring new sports facilities for the Lowestoft and Waveney area. At the end of this procurement period they will have a preferred provider, which we will be linked to, and there will hopefully be a feasibility study on a new indoor pool and fitness gym.

“We will know by March who has got the contract and I would like to see work on the pool start early next year.”

Mr Goldson, who is also a Suffolk county councillor, said the new sports facilities would be built on the same site as the old outdoor pool.

“The Halesworth area is quite large and the nearest swimming pool is Bungay, but there is nothing the other way,” he added. “It will hopefully bring in people from as far afield as Southwold, Wangford and Saxmundham.

“At the moment the local schools can no longer run swimming classes and with the ageing population we have got in Halesworth elderly people need somewhere they can do water aerobics and fitness.

“The pool has really been missed and people are constantly coming up and asking why has it closed? It will be nice to let people know about this. It would be a major boost to the town.”

David Gallagher, head of service at Waveney District Council, said: “Hopefully we can bring a project to the table that is deliverable to the people of Halesworth.”

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