A popular swimming pool has closed in Thurmaston today, despite over 1,000 residents signing a petition to save it.
The Bradgate Education Partnership (BEP) Trust, which owns the Roundhill Academy Pool in Thurmaston, announced its impending closure last month, labelling it “outdated, underused and too expensive to keep open”.
Despite strong opposition by residents, and a 1,116 strong petition to keep it open, the pool closed today (April 14), due to annual costs falling short by £5,000 a year.
It was one of only 14 pools in the county that was available for public use, and was home to five swim schools in the area. Over 500 children attended regular lessons at the facility, which also had a hoist for disabled access.
People within the Thurmaston community have reacted with strong disappointment to the news.
“I have taught hundreds of children at Roundhill over the past 11 Years of running Water Babies swim school and to close the pool now, after having so much money spent on it is disgraceful and a huge loss to the local community”, said Chris Craven writing online.
“Locally, lessons at alternate pools are oversubscribed, with waiting lists running into hundreds of places or closed to new applicants completely”, added Claire Selvidge, who started the petition.
“The negative impact on the local community will be massive, with the children who currently attend lessons here having little alternative”.
Roundhill Academy Pool had been a fixture in the Thurmaston community for over three decades.
In a letter to pool users, Gareth Nelmes, chief executive of the Trust, said that the plan was to replace the swimming pool with a covered outdoor seating space for students.
“Other than for one lesson per week in the Autumn term for Year 7 students, the 750 students of Roundhill Academy no longer use the 18.3m pool facility which is now very outdated. Our duty to ensure that our budget is spent benefiting the 750 students who attend Roundhill Academy”, he said.
“The Covid pandemic exposed the lack of outdoor covered space available for students at Roundhill and after much consideration, we have decided to utilise the footprint of the swimming pool to create a covered outdoor seating space, outside catering facilities and new toilets that the students will benefit from.”