Plans for Ripon's new swimming pool move forward to design stage

The new swimming pool will replace the Ripon Spa Baths, which has served the city for 113 years.
The new swimming pool will replace the Ripon Spa Baths, which has served the city for 113 years.

Regular swimmers at Ripon Spa Baths said it has been a long time coming, but plans for the city’s new pool have been approved and will now go to the design stage.

At a meeting of the Harrogate Borough Council Cabinet on Wednesday, members supported officers’ recommendations to open a new pool next to the existing leisure centre on Dallamires Lane.

A five lane 25 metre pool, a poolside viewing area and a sauna will replace the 113-year-old Spa Baths. The building would be linked to the leisure centre and share a reception area.

The cardiovascular gym will be expanded, and the three new studios will be created for classes including spin, yoga, and pilates.

The plans also include re-laying the outdoor football pitch, creating more changing rooms, and opening a new children’s play area.

Arguably the most regular swimmer at the Spa Baths, Pamela Simpson-Phillips, 52, said she has been going to the pool every day since she moved to the city 17 years ago, and often takes her four-year-old granddaughter with her.

Pamela attended the Cabinet meeting as a resident keen to find out what the new facilities will offer.

She said: “I am really pleased that we are getting a new pool, it is something that we have been wanting to have for years. The pool we have got at the moment, we’ve had it a long time, but it is dying on its knees. We do really need a new one.

“But I do think we could do better than what we are being offered, the plans should also include a separate teaching pool.”

At the Cabinet meeting, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sport, coun Stanley Lumley, said: “I am pleased to see that we are moving forward with the plans.

“This is an investment we are going to make in Ripon to provide an excellent facility.”

Ripon city councillor and cabinet member for housing and safer communities, coun Mike Chambers, said: “I welcome it very much, it has been long-needed by the people of Ripon. I accept that some items on the wish list we will not be able to provide, but this will meet the needs of residents in Ripon for many years to come.”

The cabinet member for environment, waste reduction and recycling, coun Zoe Metcalfe, said: “I am a service user at the leisure centre, and I can’t get in the pilates classes or yoga. I think this project is really good and exciting for Ripon.”

The designs for the pool are expected to be finished by the end of March next year, and the council aims for the pool to be built by December 2019.