Grand revamp of Ilkley swimming pool under threat

This is how Ilkley Pool could look under plans drawn up by the Ilkley Pool Group. Please credit Roost Architects (9719316)

This is how Ilkley Pool could look under plans drawn up by the Ilkley Pool Group. Please credit Roost Architects (9719316)

First published in News by

ILKLEY'S swimming pool and lido complex appears safe from Bradford Council cuts - but a leisure services strategy may rule out funding for an ambitious redevelopment scheme.

Bradford Council last week started public consultation on plans to shut four sports centres in the district and build four new pools at other locations.

The strategy under consideration would mean Ilkley Pool and Lido, Denton Road, will stay open.

But indications money from the sale of the land currently occupied by four pools would fund the building of the new facilities elsewhere in the Bradford District may mean Ilkley loses out.

Under the plans, Bradford Council says outdated and inefficient centres at Bowling Pool, Richard Dunn Sports Centre, Queensbury Pool and Bingley Pool would close, and the sale of these sites will help to pay for the new facilities.

Ilkley ward councillor, Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley) says indications were previously given that money from the sale of the Richard Dunn centre site could be ploughed into the £10m bid for a new Ilkley Pool.

She fears those pushing for a redeveloped pool complex in Ilkley may have been 'misled'.

Councillor Hawkesworth said: "There has been quite a lot of encouragement that we were going to be able to have a new swimming pool, but it's not in the scheme of things.

"It seems to rule out any possibility of council funding."

Coun Andrew Thornton, the Council's Executive Member for Environment and Sport, said: "We are very keen to see new, modern facilities built for Bradford people that they will enjoy and are easily accessible.

"There is no getting away from the fact that several of our pools are outdated and costly to maintain. They cannot meet our future needs and are unsustainable.

"Sport England strongly support our proposed strategy of replacing them with new facilities and then disposing of these older pools.

"Having modern, accessible facilities should encourage more people to become active."

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