PLANS for a new wing at Dursley Swimming Pool are set to get the go-ahead if Stroud District Council approves to a substantial injection of investment this evening.
As part of the council’s budget for the following year, £1.4million is currently earmarked to build new facilities at the pool on Castle Street, including a brand new fitness gym, dance studio and additional changing and toilet facilities.
The meeting of the full council at Ebley Mill will debate and potentially amend the budget but as it stands, in addition to new facilities, the pool is also expected to receive funds to instal new combined heat and power engines, which forms part of the council’s carbon management programme to increase energy efficiency.
The engines, which will also be installed at Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud, would provide a significant proportion of pool heating, thereby reducing energy usage.
Both projects are expected to make a return for the council, with more people paying to use the new facilities and savings made from the more efficient heating system.
Housewife and mother-of-two Terri Withers, 27, from Larkrise in Dursley said the plan sounded great because it would mean she could use the gym while her eldest child was in the pool.
"It's quite nice here so it would be great if they could expand and take bigger groups because there's quite a waiting list."
Tyre fitter Jonty Leathwood, 32, from Cam is a regular visitor to the pool with his three children and said he wanted to make sure the pool was not left out of the extra funding.
"Overall it is a good idea to expand but they shouldn't focus it all on the gym," he said.
"I think they should spend more on the pool itself because there's more than one gym around here and there's only one pool."
Strategic head of finance and business services at SDC, Sandra Cowley, has written in her budget report to the council that it can once again make a significant investment to improve services it rates as important.
in the report, she adds: “We are committed to the health and wellbeing of our residents being one of our corporate priorities.
"We are therefore proposing to extend one of our most valuable assets, Dursley Pool, to provide an enhanced facility focused on ‘dryside’ activities including a gym and exercise room.”
If approved the plans will be partly funded from the authority’s reserves but money will also need to be borrowed to fund the investment.
A SDC spokesman said the pool had a great reputation locally and offered a large range of courses and activities to help people with their health and fitness.
“Swimming continues to grow from strength to strength but there is also a huge demand for ‘non-swimming’ activities such as exercise classes and gym equipment,” he said.
“We are currently only able to provide these activities in the evenings and at weekends, at another nearby site, but a new wing at the pool would allow us to provide a much more comprehensive range of courses and activities for our customers at times which would be more convenient for them.”