Future of Kenilworth's outdoor pool plunged into doubt - The Leamington Observer

Future of Kenilworth's outdoor pool plunged into doubt

Laura Kearns 19th Sep, 2018   0

THE FUTURE of Kenilworth’s outdoor swimming pool has been plunged into doubt after new development proposals were revealed.

Abbey Fields is home to two outdoor ‘kidney shaped’ pools which are open throughout the summer.

But under proposals from Warwick District Council the larger pool – which has been there for 122 years – could close to make way for an indoor training pool.

It would be part of a redevelopment of Castle Farm Recreation Centre and the Abbey Fields, which are both run by leisure provider Everyone Active.

It follows hot on the heels of the controversial £15million redevelopment of leisure centres at Newbold Comyn in Leamington and St Nicholas Park in Warwick, both of which were recently completed.

An alternative proposal to closing the Kenilworth outdoor pool – also known as the lido – is to keep both pools as they are and improve the cafe and changing areas.

But council chiefs say building a training pool would increase the number of people learning to swim, and also boost profits.

District culture spokesman Coun Michael Coker, himself a Kenilworth resident, said the plans were currently being consulted on.

He said: “We are intending on investing and improving but this is a full consultation which will go on for quite some time.

“It isn’t our intention to close the outdoor pool but it is an option. People will be having a huge say before we put forward any plans.”

But campaign group Restore Kenilworth Lido says neither of the council’s proposals should go ahead and instead it should look at turning it back into a rectangular-shaped outdoor pool and kept open all year.

A spokeswoman said: “Fresh water swimming is very in vogue there would be teams of triathlon swimmers from across the midlands coming morning, noon and night.

“A rectangular pool could be a wonderful asset to this town and could boost tourism and trade. Kenilworth is going to grow incredibly over the next decade and we want to meet expectation.”

Nearby Castle Farm is also set for changes under the district council’s proposals.

Plans include demolishing the leisure centre and replacing it with a sports hall with six badminton courts, a gym with some 80 stations and exercise studios.

Scouts and Guides who are currently based at the site could be relocated or have a new facility built.

The proposals will be discussed at an Executive meeting on Wednesday (September 26).


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