‘KEEP OUR POOL IN TOWN’ – residents and councillors unhappy with move to shut Quarry Pool

17 Jan 2024
Shrewsbury Lib Dem Councillors on a Save the Quarry Pool event

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet today voted through proposals to ‘prioritise’ borrowing to spend £28 million in a new site at Sundorne, claiming they have made ‘no decision’ over the future of the Quarry Pool.

Residents who regularly use the Quarry Pool and local councillors in Shrewsbury have expressed their concern over Shropshire Council plans to plough ahead with a Sundorne swimming site that puts provision of a town centre facility at risk.

Lib Dem petition asking for a commitment to keeping the pool in town launched by Councillor Alex Wagner earlier in the year received over 1,000 signatures from Shrewsbury residents and pool users.

At Cabinet back in 2020, Underdale councillor David Vasmer was told in no uncertain terms by now-leader Lesley Picton that proposals for a pool at Sundorne did not mean the Quarry Pool would shut. Today’s decision and refusal to commit to a town centre pool puts that commitment in real doubt, and sets the scene for shutting the Quarry Pool.

Alex Wagner, Shrewsbury councillor, said:  “We need to keep our pool in town.  The Quarry Pool has nurtured a really thriving community who use the site for all sorts of different activities. It is an important part of creating an attractive town centre, with many users also spending time in local shops and cafes and taking advantage of the town centre’s wider offer after they swim."

 “It is particularly absurd to vote to take a key facility out of the town centre whilst in the same meeting voting through a cut in Park and Ride fees to £1, and a 10-year strategy aimed at encouraging people into town and making the loop even more of an attraction.”

Bernard Wills, Chair of the Quarry Swimming and Fitness Forum, said:  “Why displace the established swimming and other water activity clubs to an out-of-town location which will cause additional costs to the users?  The proposed location goes against Shropshire Council’s vision. Moving the Pool out of the town centre discourages activities in the town centre such as shopping and visiting cafes and restaurants, with loss of business in the town."

 “Public transport to and from Sundorne is limited, time-consuming and expensive, which will increase car usage and additional traffic. With a present central location, the pool facility is in equal reach of Shrewsbury's population.”

 Mr Wills also suggested: “Why not build a new pool at the Riverside development?”