Parish’s plans for a new swimming pool in Heckington

Heckington Swimming Pool. EMN-170331-102339001
Heckington Swimming Pool. EMN-170331-102339001

Parish councillors have agreed in principle to proposals to relocate their village’s community swimming pool.

Heckington Swimming Pool Committee has drawn up plans outlining ambitions to move from land adjoining St Andrew’s Primary School to a new site close to the pavilion on the neighbouring village playing field in order to be free to develop more modern facilties.

Councillors were informed by parish chairman Coun Jan Palmer last week that the project would hinge on securing grant funding of around £100,000 - possibly from the Lottery - and if unsuccessful the pool would continue with its current arrangement.

She said: “The school would still be able to use the new one and it would be open to the public and maintained by the committee as before. It would be slightly bigger but still be a training pool three feet deep. It would still be parish council land and they would rent it.”

Chairman of the pool committee, Michael Wells told The Standard the current pool is on land leased on a five-year basis to the parish council by the Diocese of Lincoln, which manages the school.

He said, according to the lease, the committee and parish council cannot improve facilities on the site by building single sex changing rooms to replace the current communal arrangement, just in case the school later needs to expand.

He added that they get a lot of income from hiring the pool out for private parties, but said: “We have a very small kitchen and we cannot offer an awful lot. We want to improve things and moving the pool is the only way to bring things up to date.”

The plan is to have the pool covered but not as an indoor pool to be used all year round as it would be too great a demand on volunteers.

Mr Wells said: “We are not looking at anything much bigger than we have now. I would also like to put in a small spray park.”

The old pool and land would then be handed back to the Diocese.

Mr Wells added that, as a charity, they would be able to access funding sources that the parish council cannot.

He said the committee will meet with the parish council and start planning, saying: “We have sufficient demand for the pool and we are OK financially. We just want to offer something better. We don’t even have a proper shower, just cold water from a garden sprayer.”

As well as parties they run a swim school. The volunteers are awaiting a replacement pool filter and plan a spring clean ready to open for the new season, including installing a fresh kitchen donated by Howdens the joinery firm.