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New £30m Olympic-sized swimming pool could be built in Lincoln

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: May 31, 2012

  • Work on a 50-metre public pool for Lincoln could start within two years

  • The University of Lincoln's director of sport, Robin Wright, has revealed plans for a 50m public pool along with a health spa, wave pool, and jacuzzi. Work on the project could start within two years

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A new £30 million Olympic-sized swimming pool could be built in Lincoln.

The Echo can reveal work on a 50-metre public pool would start within two years.

Early plans are in place for a health spa, wave pool and jacuzzi. They also include proposals for a two-storey car park with artificial football pitches built on top. A cafeteria would also be built.

The University of Lincoln is close to striking a deal that would see it buy a large plot of land from an unnamed company in the city centre.

The university's director of sport, Robin Wright, said: "Ultimately it will be up to the city to decide what it wants. It will be a public facility and we want it to benefit as many people as possible.

"Lincolnshire does not have a particularly young population so perhaps a health spa would appeal more to them than say a 50-metre swimming pool.

"I know some people will want a 50-metre pool.

"We cannot disclose the location of the proposed development yet because the project is at a very early stage.

"All I can say is that it will be a class location.

"Lincoln needs this kind of innovation. We want people to stay here and people from outside the city to want to visit because of the superb facilities we hope to have."

The scheme should be up and running by 2016. It will create more than 30 permanent jobs.

Head coach at Lincoln Vulcans Swimming Club Fred Furniss, whose brother coaches double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, said: "This is very positive news. If you take our club for example, we train swimmers up to a very high standard and they move on to a different city. The prospect of a 50-metre pool will change all of that."

The university is working in partnership with councils in central Lincolnshire to bring forward the plan.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: "This would be a marvellous facility."

Chief Executive of North Kesteven District Council Ian Fytche added: "This is an interesting proposal, but in advance of the finalisation and publication of that sports strategy we must remain open-minded as to its merit, suitability and implications."

Parent-of-three Helen Nicholls, from North Hykeham, takes two of her children swimming with Lincoln Vulcans every week.

She said: "A new public swimming pool is really good news.

"I know many parents who take their children to Doncaster to swim in a wave pool.

"Something like that in Lincoln is needed.

"A lot of our elite swimmers leave the city for other bigger cities with better facilities."

Meanwhile Lincoln-based personal trainer Paul Cook said: "This would be brilliant news for the city. Lincoln has been crying out for more swimming facilities for a long time.

"Swimming is the perfect exercise for rehabilitation and avoiding sports injuries.

"More than anything it's great fun and a chance for families to do something together."

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  June 06 2012, 10:31PM

    My guess is that the proposed wave pool would be suitable for families, with a loud alarm to warn of variations in depth. Rebecca Adlington was certainly closer to Sheffield or Leeds than a swimmer based in Boston or Lincoln. Paul Palmer and Mel Marshall both came from this region but were unable to train locally for international competition. There are more Olympic-sized pools in Paris than in the whole of the UK. How embarrassing is it that one European city - one of the closest to home - has more international pools than our four nations? I'm reading this article as a university initiative but with public access. A pool complex could ensure this. We should all support this scheme and bring Lincoln a public swimming facility for the first time since Boultham Baths closed.

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  • Tom_Whimpole  |  June 06 2012, 8:21PM

    There are 15 50m pools in England and there are 50 listed cities. Mansfield or Nottingham don't have one, but that didn't seem to deter Rebecca Adlington. Can people not pretend that a 50m pool is a community pool. They are cold and unwelcoming. They are rubbish it suitable for children or older people at all. If the University want a 50m pool, that's fine for them. I would like a leisure pool to take my grand children to. The fun pool facilities in Lincoln are rubbish.

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  • RJS1986  |  June 05 2012, 6:39PM

    I ran a campaign in 2009 aimed at getting the Council to conduct a 'feasibility study' to assess whether a 50m swimming facility would be a financially viable option for the County. I presented the case to the County Council and have never had a response from the petition presented. There was little interest from any 'parties' in the County, mainly because the estimated £8-12 million development cost was seemingly not regarded as a sustainable venture. The proposed development of a £30 million facility seems an excellent vision - but I will be surprised if it actually gets built.

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  • cstrathon  |  June 05 2012, 3:52PM

    Not sure if this posted first time?..... Why a 50m pool? – versatility and greater accessibility for everyone! A 50m pool can easily be split into 2 x 25m pools (by a moveable boom) meaning that several activities can take place AT THE SAME TIME. This happens at the "local" 50m pools of Sheffield and Loughborough where school swimming/competitions/water polo etc use the pool at the same time as the public. Modern pools use moveable floors to vary the depth of the pool (and can have different areas at different depths) so that learning to swim (shallow water) and water polo (deep water) and everything in between can use the same pool. Modern advances in engineering and technology have vastly reduced the running costs of pools (most of Lincoln's pools are over 40 years old!). The current pools in Lincoln are outdated and in need of refurbishment, they are not open to the public at "convenient" times of the day and are restricted in what uses they can accommodate. Higher level swimming competitions (including national and international events), bringing in new tourism and publicity to the City, use 50m pools, so a 25m pool would not enable Lincoln to take advantage of this potential revenue stream. The Council missed out last time a 50m pool was suggested: at that time funds were available from Sport England for facilities to be built and, if there had been a pool built then, Lincoln could have recovered some of the costs by providing a base camp for one of the visiting Olympic Swimming Teams this summer, but the decision was taken not to build a pool. A 50m pool together with sports complex (which appears to be the suggestion) would provide Lincoln (and Lincolnshire generally) with a much needed versatile and accessible modern facility in the town centre, bring in tourism and promote the City at national and international levels, encourage young people to come to the University and to stay on in Lincoln afterwards. The project would also create many jobs, not only in the construction of the complex, but also afterwards to run and manage it.

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  • bigyellabelly  |  June 01 2012, 2:04PM

    British public do not swim. Go to Yarborough or North Kestevan and count how many people swim at any public session, this month. Then imagine how few will swim in winter. It is completely unaffordable. If the Councils handed out tenners at the door and kept the pools closed it would be less of a drain on Council Tax. Swimming Pools LOSE MONEY. Fact. A £30m 50metre pipedream will not stop the best one or two swimmers going to Loughborough and Bath...its more than just water. It is a complete no brainer, as is a skating rink. Next barmy idea, please.

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  • stinkbombone  |  June 01 2012, 9:07AM

    Yeh right, I will believe it when I see it. Lincoln must be just about the only city in the UK without a public swimming pool. Whilst the city councillors, both left and right are building their own petty little ceasar like empires they should have focused on the jobs they were elected to do and have provided us with public baths within the city decades ago.

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  • VictorToo  |  June 01 2012, 8:40AM

    Another prediction. The general public will get next to no time in the pool because it'll be block booked by the university, swimming clubs, aquarobics and other odd clubs, much like the other pools in Lincoln. Opportunities for the general public to go in for an evening swim will be severely limited - at best. Most of the free sessions will be in the daytime when most people will be at work, and a lot of those will be taken anyway by schools who don't have pools.

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  May 31 2012, 9:49PM

    Fantastic opportunity for Lincoln city and county and, with the university involved, likely to be a success. How many good Lincolnshire swimmers have ended up leaving the area to train in full-size pools? They spend enough time in the water already, without having to add journey times to Sheffield, Loughborough or Norwich on top.

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  • InsideStory  |  May 31 2012, 7:50PM

    Believe it when you see it.

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  • ColinLincs  |  May 31 2012, 6:30PM

    Don't hold your breath people. This sounds like a sound byte that has not been developed into a plan, and where will the money come from to first finance it then run it when they are so skint they are closing down all sorts of services? If local authorities are so environmentally aware do you know how much energy is needed to heat a 50 metre pool? It would be great to see facilities like this but let's watch this space!

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