Further calls for new swimming pool for Kettering

A petition to revive a dead-in-the-water proposal for a new swimming pool in Kettering is gathering pace.

Kettering Council disbanded a research group tasked with investigating its feasibility in February, ending hopes of a new facility, after claims they were burying their head in the sand more than two years after promising to look into it.

Kettering's London Road pool.

Kettering's London Road pool.

Despite promising to visit 10 pools and make reports on the feasibility of a new pool the committee tasked to look into it visited just one - Kettering's.

They instead decided to pump £140,000 into the tired London Road pool which was built in 1984. New pools in neighbouring towns have become the facility of choice for many families.

Kettering Amateur Swimming Club (KASC) started a petition calling on the council to reconsider their investment priorities to include a new pool for the borough.

Club chairman Mike Annable said: "We are hoping that the petition will show the council the strength of feeling within the borough.

"Kettering needs a new swimming pool, not only because the current pool is of poor standard in comparison to neighbouring boroughs, but because the amount of water available for swimming limits access for the public and the club.

"We now have more than 700 signatures when the numbers online are added to those on paper.

"We'd like to thank everyone that has signed and urge anyone that wants to see improved leisure facilities in the borough to sign to show their support."

To view the petition click here
Mr Annable said the current pool and lack of water space was causing "major issues" for the club. Fifty swimmers travel to Oundle to train and another 70 travel to Thrapston. One-third of their pool time is currently spent outside the borough.

Sixteen schools recently took part in a swimming gala in Kettering but the majority could not watch because there was no space for spectators.

Kettering's pool was closed for two months in 2017 after a piece of ceiling caved in. Fortunately nobody was injured.

One of those to sign the petition was Kettering Council's opposition leader Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (Lab).

He said he understood KASC's frustration.

He said: "If it cost £100m then they could say it would be silly to spend that but because it wasn't even looked into we don't know how much it would cost.

"There are other new pools further afield like Hinckley's that pay for itself and then you've got Market Harborough who have taken a decision to build a new pool even though their one is newer than Kettering's. Even Wellingborough [which saw their new pool open in 2007] have a desire for a second pool.

"But in Kettering there's clearly just no ambition or appetite for better leisure facilities.

"Until they're prepared to sit down and look at it how can they make a proper decision?"

Kettering Council has been contacted for a comment.