Cabinet meeting - 13 February 2019
On 13 February 2019 our cabinet agreed to progress proposals that could see the demolition and rebuilding of the Quarry Pool in Shrewsbury.
Cabinet agreed that the existing Quarry site is the most suitable town centre location for swimming provision, and authorised council officers to investigate the potential to develop new swimming provision on the site.
They also agreed a budget of up to £500,000 to undertake the full feasibility assessments, and the preparation of feasibility assessments and concept designs.
The feasibility study will ask leisure and health specialists to advise on the exact nature of swimming provision required for the long-term health and wellbeing of the Shrewsbury and wider Shropshire population. We’ll also get concept designs drawn up to show how the new facilities might look.
The decision followed a review of different locations for providing swimming-based activities in the town centre, which found that the most suitable town centre location is the existing Quarry site. This review was carried out following an earlier cabinet agreement (in July 2017) to look again at the location of swimming provision in Shrewsbury.
Conscious that the redevelopment of the Quarry Pool site would take some years to complete, the council is keen to ensure the continuity of local swimming provision during this time, and alternate provision would also be explored as part of these proposals.
In determining that the Quarry Pool was the preferred location within the town centre, various sites were evaluated using specific criteria. These included: locality of site and ability of users and staff to physically access the site; land ownership; ability of site to deliver the services identified in the vision; site condition and enhancing the public realm; stimulating economic regeneration; and contributing to long-term social and community regeneration.
A subsequent building condition survey carried out at the Quarry Pool in November 2018 has concluded that the building is effectively at the end of its serviceable life. A rebuild would provide new and modern facilities offering a better customer experience, the potential to reduce operational costs given a modern design and energy efficient installations and opportunities to maximise revenue generation via an improved, park-facing, food and beverage offering.
In planning terms this option is deliverable, and coupled with enhanced fitness provision would increase usage and visitor numbers.
A rebuild on the existing site would also provide the potential to explore a wider footprint and the opportunity to integrate other uses beyond purely leisure use. This could include, for example, office, community and education uses, and it's important that these are considered within the framework of the recently approved Shrewsbury Big Town Plan.
Feasibility study - spring to autumn 2019
The feasibility study will ask leisure and health specialists to advise on the exact nature of swimming provision required for the long-term health and wellbeing of the Shrewsbury and wider Shropshire population. We’ll also get concept designs drawn up to show how the new facilities might look
The study has a budget of up to £500,000 to enable a full assessment of options to be considered against affordability and funding proposals. The outcomes are expected to establish and identify the following:
- Affordability and sustainability
- Shortlisted designs
- Meets the council’s vision and strategy for swimming provision
- Provides additional social, environmental and economic benefits and supports delivery of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan
- Potential for working in partnership with local stakeholders