Swimming club: Kettering pool closure shows town needs a new facility

Kettering Swimming Pool.
Kettering Swimming Pool.

Kettering’s swimming club says the current maintenance issues at the town’s pool only go to highlight the need for a new facility.

The pool in London Road has been shut since Tuesday (June 20) after a piece of panelling fell from the ceiling.

It is expected to be closed for ’two to three weeks’.

Mike Annable, a committee member at Kettering Swimming Club, says the issues with the pool highlight the town’s need for a new one.

He said: “Kettering does not have enough water space for its population anyway.

“People are seeing the current pool and seeing the pools in Corby and Wellingborough and it’s dragging them in that direction.

“If it’s not good enough now it’s only going to get worse.

“The pool does not meet the standards and people do not have a pool they can be proud of.

“People will just go outside of the borough unless we get a new pool.”

Of the 16 hours of lessons the club provides each week, 10 would normally be based at Kettering’s pool.

Mr Annable added that trying to relocate these lessons is proving to be a challenge for the club.

He said: “As a club we’re already using pools outside of Kettering just because there is not enough water space.

“We have now got to find 10 hours of water space for lessons we’d normally run in Kettering.

“It’s costing the club money and young swimmers are having to travel further, and then when they get there more swimmers are squeezed into the pool.

“Wellingborough’s pool is closed and because Wellingborough Swimming Club knew it was going to be closed they’ve taken up a lot of water time that we would have ordinarily.

“We are trying to fit a quart into a pint pot.”

Last week, a Kettering Council spokesman said: “It has been deemed necessary to carry out a more detailed assessment of the ceiling of the room housing the swimming pool.

“In order to achieve this, a specialist contractor is being commissioned to provide the equipment necessary for the council to carry out this more detailed safety assessment and to take the necessary corrective action.

“It is likely that the additional assessment and any corrective action will take a further two to three weeks to complete.

“However, a further update will be provided once more information is known.

“Please note that only the swimming pool is affected by the temporary closure.

“The gym remains open for use.

“Kettering Council is sorry for the inconvenience caused, however safety of the service’s users is of paramount importance.”

The closure comes at a time when a research group has been set up to look into the viability of a new pool in the town.

Parents who have already paid for swimming lessons up front have been reassured they will be refunded.

A Kettering Council spokesman added: “Legacy Leisure, the operators of the Kettering Swimming Pool, will not be collecting any direct debit payments relating to swim memberships or swimming lessons on July 1.

“In terms of pre-paid swimming lessons the operators will be able to reconcile these when there is final confirmation of a reopening date.”