Shropshire Council

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Swimming provision in Shrewsbury

  • Period: 28 May 2015 - 30 October 2015
  • Status: Closed
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Leisure and culture
  • Type: Public

New information is available on the outcomes tab above.

Revenue information has been updated on this page. If you've previously responded to this consultation, take a look at the updates and then complete a short supplementary survey, which will provide the facility for you to resubmit your options preferences.

If you prefer to download a copy of this content to print off and read you can do so using the links at the bottom of this page. 

Background

A changing Shropshire

The population of Shrewsbury is changing - it’s generally getting older and less active. We will have significant growth over the next few decades with a large amount of new housing being built.

From September 2015 we will have a university in the town, and although student numbers will initially be small, there will be a growing population of students with specific leisure requirements.

The condition of the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre and the user experience it offers has declined in recent years, and huge strains generally on the public purse and the running costs of the current facility are a growing challenge.

Who's involved?

We've been working with the following partners and independent experts to fully explore what the best options are for providing swimming facilities for these changing needs:

We now need to assess the views of as many people as possible. We want to consult a wide range of user groups, interest groups and organisations in the town, including the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Forum, (a group set up to bring clubs and users of the Quarry together to work towards improvements to the centre) as well as the wider population. We want to hear from people who don’t use the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre as well as people who do.

The current facility

Provision

The original Quarry Pool was opened to the public in 1864. In 1968/69 and again in 1994 the facility underwent extensive modernisation.

Today the Quarry Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre offers the following facilities:

  • Quarry Pool – 33.3m x 12.8m with diving boards and spectator seating
  • Priory Pool – 25.5m x 9.5m
  • Claremont Pool – 17m x 9.5m
  • Teaching Pool 10.5m x 6.5m
  • Fitness suite, extended in 2009 - 37-station multi-room gym layout
  • Training room
  • Catering area
  • Health suite, including sauna, steam room and spa
  • Diving boards
  • Flumes

The total water space provided is 898 sq m.

Condition

In September 2014 we undertook a condition survey of the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre. The survey included the main plant items (heating, pool filtration systems etc) and connected distribution systems, and comprised an internal and external visual inspection of the entire property, together with all associated external areas.

Various urgent or essential works were identified, including work to:

  • ceilings
  • roof, walls and cladding
  • furniture and fittings
  • floors and stairs
  • mechanical services (failed lighting, inefficient filtration system, aged boilers)
  • redecoration and sanitary services

Running costs

The current facility is running at a £195,811 operating deficit per annum - this excludes the Shropshire Council subsidy.

Usage

The table below shows the usage figures for the facility, for the last five years:

YearNumber of people using the poolsNumber of people using the fitness centre
2009/10 293,091 53,387
2010/11 231,486 52,765
2011/12 223,856 57,694
2012/13 213,947 58,918
2013/14 222,929 69,932
2014/15 226,921 74,720

The greatest amount of time allotted on the programme is to casual recreational use.

A large number of clubs make use of the pools at the Quarry; you can view individual club usage information provided by the Quarry Forum in December 2014.

Around 30 schools and colleges use the pools at the Quarry. These are from Shrewsbury and surrounding areas, and include schools that specifically support children with additional needs.

A large number of swimming lessons are run at the centre, which follow the ASA national teaching plan that caters for all ages and abilities.

The pools are also available for private hire and parties, and a large amount of time is allotted on the programme to casual use.

Competitions also take place at the pools on a regular basis.

Over recent years it's been challenging to meet programming demands which accommodate the varied use of the pools, and many clubs have had to find alternative venues, such as Shrewsbury School.

User opinion

A user survey was conducted by the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Forum between December 2014 and January 2015. Over this four week period over 1,100 responses were received. This provided a very useful snapshot of people’s usage patterns and opinions on the facility.

The story so far

  • July 2014: Shropshire Council approved the recommendation to undertake detailed options work
  • October 2014: building condition survey of the Quarry Swimming and Fitness centre was completed
  • November 2014: study of different options for swimming provision in Shrewsbury commenced
  • December 2014: user survey of the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Centre was carried out
  • May 2015: options analysis study was completed

So what's next?

We need to fully understand the needs and views of as many members of the community as possible to help us plan the best way to provide swimming and aquatics facilities in Shrewsbury in the future.

This consultation will provide a range of options for swimming provision that have been looked at in detail by independent experts based on the brief provided to them by the vision document.

The swimming facility will provide appropriate swimming facilities including:

  • a 25m x 20m eight lane main pool
  • a 20m x 10m four-lane learner pool with full moveable floor
  • facilities to introduce people to water (to aid water confidence)
  • fitness facilities

The facility must:

  • increase participation in swimming and physical activity, and in doing so improve the wider health and wellbeing of the community
  • provide a long-term swimming facility that's affordable to run both now and in the future
  • be complementary to other leisure and recreational provision in the town

For each option that has been looked at we have provided:

  • a brief description
  • a simple analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to enable you to quickly understand the pros and cons
  • financial information on the cost to build and the cost to run (this is detailed separately beneath the options in a comparison table format)

We are asking you to read and carefully consider the information for each option, and then to provide feedback on it.

The options

Option 1a - Refurbishment of existing facilities

This option is to undertake works to address the concerns identified within both the condition survey and user survey. It won't provide any significant changes to the layout of the centre and retains the existing four pools with the diving boards and flumes. This option will not provide a long-term solution to meeting the needs expressed within the 'Vision For Swimming in Shrewsbury'.

The following SWOT analysis highlights the pros and cons of this option:

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • comparatively small capital outlay (£2.3m)
  • council owned site and facility
  • retains the economic and transport advantages of a town centre facility
  • addresses some of the concerns raised in the recent user surveys
  • works can be delivered quickly
  • minimal disruption to usage
  • retains existing four pools
  • retains diving boards and flumes
  • retains spa/sauna facility
  • only provides short term improvements that have a limited life 
  • doesn't address modern industry requirements
  • unlikely to support increased participation
  • minimal impact on existing high running costs
  • doesn't address concerns around parking and access
  • gym expansion is limited
OpportunitiesThreats
  • develops the centre’s role as part of the town centre economy
  • provides a facility in close proximity to the new university
  • potential to form part of a wider investment programme in to the Quarry
  • it's likely that the facility will require further significant investment in the near future at a time of increasing pressures on public finance
  • structural concerns raised during the survey may worsen and require significant investment

 

Option 1b - Upgrade of existing facility

This option is to undertake works to significantly upgrade the current facility. This addresses issues in option 1a and also implements a range of changes to improve the facility and meet modern standards and requirements, which will improve customer satisfaction. This will include, for example, modern lifts and access, improved changing facilities, new windows, etc.

The SWOT analysis below highlights the pros and cons of this option:

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • council owned site and facility
  • retains the economic and transport advantages of a town centre facility
  • addresses the concerns raised in the recent user surveys
  • retains existing four pools
  • retains diving boards and flumes
  • retains spa/sauna facility
  • provides medium term improvements that have a limited life 
  • unlikely to support increased participation
  • minimal impact on existing high running costs
  • doesn't address concerns around parking and access
  • gym expansion is limited

Opportunities

Threats

  • develops the centre’s role as part of the town centre economy
  • provides a facility in close proximity to the new university
  • potential to form part of a wider investment programme in to the Quarry
  • increasing pressures on public finance
  • works may uncover unforeseen structural works that cost more or make the continuation of swimming at the facility difficult or impossible

Option 2 - New build on the Quarry site

This option is to undertake a new build on the existing Quarry site. This will provide a new building that meets the vision of future swimming provision in Shrewsbury. This option provides the two pools described in the vision.

The SWOT analysis below highlights the pros and cons of this option:

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • council owned site and facility
  • supports our vision to get more people more active
  • retains the economic and transport advantages of a town centre facility
  • less costly to run and maintain than option 1a or 1b above
  • addresses concerns around parking and access
  • large capital outlay
  • site constraints provide limited future growth opportunities
  • doesn't retain flumes or diving boards
OpportunitiesThreats
  • develops the centre’s role as part of the town centre economy
  • provides a facility in close proximity to the new university
  • potential to form part of a wider investment programme in to the Quarry
  • increasing pressures on public finance
  • existing facility is demolished so no facility during build time that may result in a permanent loss of some users
  • site boundary limitations within a listed park compromises the ability to meet the vision

Option 3 - New build on a different site

We undertook an initial trawl of sites potentially suitable for the development of a new swimming and leisure facility within or on the edge of Shrewsbury (and including the current Quarry Pool site) in June 2014.

The following new build options on new sites are the ones identified as the most viable. Each will provide a new building that fully meets the vision of future swimming provision in Shrewsbury, made up of two pools and fitness facilities.

Details of each option are provided in the following section together with a SWOT analysis highlighting the pros and cons of each.

We're also interested in any alternative options that might meet our vision - you'll have the opportunity to tell us about these when you complete the online feedback form.

Option 3a - New build: land off Clayton Way, Shelton

This option is to undertake a new build on land to the rear of the Oxon Business Park and the Severn Hospice.

View this location on a google map.

The SWOT analysis below highlights the pros and cons of this option:

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • council owned site and facility
  • supports our vision to get more people more active
  • reduced running costs
  • swimming pool provision continues during construction
  • close to new development as part of the West Shrewsbury Sustainable Urban Extension
  • large capital outlay
  • doesn't retain flumes or diving boards
  • currently no direct public transport
  • no current site infrastructure
  • edge of town location
OpportunitiesThreats
  • potential to strengthen public transport links
  • potential to further develop cycling and walking links
  • increasing pressures on public finance
  • may have a negative impact on town centre economy

Option 3b - New build: land at Ellesmere Road

This option is to undertake a new build on land adjacent to Battlefield Enterprise Park.

View this location on a google map.

The SWOT analysis below highlights the pros and cons of this option:

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • council owned site and facility
  • supports our vision to get more people more active
  • reduced running costs
  • swimming pool provision continues during construction
  • located adjacent to an area where people are proportionately less active
  • large capital outlay
  • doesn't retain flumes or diving boards
  • no current site infrastructure
  • edge of town location
  • adjacent to an important archaeological site
  • less direct public transport route for some users
OpportunitiesThreats
  • potential to strengthen public transport links
  • potential to further develop cycling and walking links
  • potential to use residual heat from the energy recovery facility (possible running cost reduction)
  • increasing pressures on public finance
  • may have a negative impact on town centre economy

Option 3c - New build: land at Shrewsbury Sports Village, Sundorne

This option would see the facility located alongside existing sports facilities.

View this location on a google map.

The SWOT analysis below highlights the pros and cons of this option:

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • council owned site and facility
  • supports our vision to get more people more active
  • reduced running costs as part of the existing facility
  • swimming pool provision continues during construction
  • located adjacent to an area where people are proportionately less active
  • existing sports facilities operational on site with existing customer base
  • reduced capital costs as able to share some reception/changing facilities and services
  • site infrastructure already in place
  • development possible with minimal disruption to existing facilities
  • existing public transport route
  • potential for increased participation compared to all other options
  • large capital outlay
  • doesn't retain flumes or diving boards
  • less direct public transport route for some users
  • no current site infrastructure
  • edge of town location
  • loss of some parking spaces at existing facility
OpportunitiesThreats
  • potential to strengthen public transport links
  • potential to further develop cycling and walking links
  • increase participation as part of a wider leisure and sporting offer
  • increase revenue through increased visits to shared facility
  • Potential to attract new users due to proximity to A5/M54
  • increasing pressures on public finance
  • may have a negative impact on town centre economy

Option 3d - New build: land adjacent to Shrewsbury College, London Road

This option would see the facility located alongside existing sports facilities.

The SWOT analysis below highlights the pros and cons of this option:

View this location on a google map.

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • supports our vision to get more people more active
  • reduced running costs as part of an existing facility
  • swimming pool provision continues during construction
  • existing sports facilities operational on site with existing customer base
  • some potential to reduce capital costs as able to share some reception/changing facilities and services
  • site infrastructure already in place
  • development possible with minimal disruption to existing facilities
  • existing public transport route
  • potential for increased participation compared to other options except 3c.
  • large capital outlay
  • doesn't retain flumes or diving boards
  • less direct public transport route for some users
  • no current site infrastructure
  • edge of town location
  • not on council owned land
OpportunitiesThreats
  • potential to strengthen public transport links
  • potential to further develop cycling and walking links
  • increase participation as part of a wider leisure and sporting offer
  • increase revenue through increased visits to shared facility
  • Potential to attract new users due to proximity to A5/M54
  • increasing pressures on public finance
  • may have a negative impact on town centre economy

Costing comparisons for the options detailed

OptionLocationUsage levelCapital costRevenue impact per annum (updated 31/08/15)
Refurbishment of existing Quarry facility Town centre 292,861 £2,317,656 Costs as per current operating deficit
Upgrade of existing Quarry facility Town centre  292,861 £12,808,323 Costs as per current operating deficit
New on existing Quarry facility site Town centre 398,246 £10,989,859 £165,815
New build on land off Clayton Way, Shelton Edge of town  398,246 £10,624,822 £168,272
New build on land at Ellesmere Road Edge of town  398,246 £10,941,971 £168,272
New build on land at Shrewsbury Sports Village, Sundorne Edge of town  486,846 £9,007,843 £446,106
New build on land at Shrewsbury College, London Road Edge of town  Assumption would be that this would be a figure between a full new build and the Sports Village site option Assumption would be that this would be a figure between a full new build and the Sports Village site option Assumption would be that this would be a figure between a full new build and the Sports Village site option

 

Documents

We are asking you to give your views on these options by answering the questions in this consultation. Click on the green button to access our short online feedback form.

Feedback on the options now »

We'll be holding a series of manned exhibitions about this consultation, and as we have more information on these we'll add it to this page and publicise it through our main leisure pages and social media accounts.

You can also visit your local library where staff are aware of this consultation and should be able to help you.

You can download a full copy of this content if you, or someone you know, prefers to read it in that format. It's available at the bottom of the proposal tab page.

 

 

Data protection

Information collected in our surveys will only be used by us (Shropshire Council) to inform the immediate and future provision of our services. The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with our Privacy Policy. It will not be shared outside of Shropshire Council. Information collected via our online surveys (hosted on the Surveymonkey website) will be stored on SurveyMonkey’s servers in the United States of America and SurveyMonkey gives an undertaking never to disclose the survey questions or your responses to others without permission.