Young 'denied chance to learn to swim in east Bristol'

January 31 2017

SUPPORT for a new swimming pool in east Bristol has moved a step forward after a petition with more than 700 signatures was handed to the city council.

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SUPPORT for a new swimming pool in east Bristol has moved a step forward after a petition with more than 700 signatures was handed to the city council.

Speedwell resident Lisa Murfin told councillors that Speedwell Pool closed in 2005 with a promise of a imminent replacement - but to date nothing has happened.

"Now after 12 years we feel it is time to deliver on this promise," she told them.

The petition stated: "East Bristol has been left behind as other parts of the city have had pools rebuilt – there is a great local demand from public and local school for this much needed health and leisure facility.  

"Designs are in place for the Bristol Brunel Academy site and any subsidy is likely to be small and much less than for other facilities across Bristol.

"We call upon the mayor to ensure that the next budget provides capital funding to allow construction to begin and negotiate robustly with services providers to minimise any subsidy.  It is time to bring back a vital service that has been missing for far too long."

Lisa told councillors about a social media group called Friends of Speedwell Pool which has more than 550 members.

"Members have been meeting monthly in person to look at different aspects of the pool such as financial viability and how the pool could potentially become a contributor towards the city income," she said.

"We have also visited no less than six potential sites for a pool and have explored ways to keep the running costs of the pool to a minimum for example the use of solar panels and chlorine reduction system meaning that potentially asthma sufferers can use the pool."

Lisa, who delivered the petition at a full council meeting in January, awaits a response.

She said: "So many people I speak to say they have these amazing fond memories of going to Speedwell Pool with their friends. We're denying the next generation that same pleasure and that's terrible."

Plans have been submitted to Bristol City Council by Crossman Homes to demolish the derelict Speedwell Pool and build two four-storey blocks providing 29 one and two bedroom flats.

Objectors include the Twentieth Century Society which says the Art Deco building has "architectural and historical significance". 

The society says it was designed by an important local architect Charles Dening who was President of the Bristol Society of Architects from 1926-1928.

In 2012 an attempt to get the building placed on the national list of Grade II listed buildings failed. It has since been placed on Bristol's Local List however this does not offer the same protection by law.