Revealed: How Ripon residents have voted to shape facilities for new swimming pool

Ripon Spa Baths.
Ripon Spa Baths.

Plans to bring a new swimming pool and leisure facility to Ripon have been overwhelmingly backed by residents in a consultation for the project.

The findings from Harrogate Borough Council revealed today that 89 per cent of those surveyed would use the facility to replace the 113-year-old Ripon Spa Baths, but a full breakdown of the results shows that only 66 per cent use the existing baths - indicating that the proposed development could drive a fresh interest in swimming and leisure activities for the city.

Residents voted to have their say on activities, facilities and catering for the pool, which would be adjacent to Ripon Leisure Centre.

As well as general swimming, which 88 per cent said would be a priority, 55 per cent said they would like to see aquatic exercise classes introduced, and 54 per cent would like to see sessions for children. Hot and cold experiences proved popular with 71 per cent of residents; 50 per cent would like swimming lessons, and 55 per cent would use gym facilities.

Activities proving less popular in the consultation included water polo - 63 per cent said that they wouldn't take part.

Coun Stan Lumley, cabinet member for Culture and Sport, said the pool and the Ripon Leisure Centre - which is also set to be upgraded under the plans - will create the first combined wet and dry leisure facility in the district.

With the consultation showing that only 24 per cent use both Ripon Spa Baths and the leisure centre, the council hopes that a combined facility could help secure more visitors.

A further public consultation will be launched to discuss the proposed designs, and the council aims for the pool to be developed by December 2019.

Activities and facility results in full:

89 per cent completing the survey were local residents

89 per cent said they would use proposed new pool

Those who completed the consultation said they would like to:

Attend general swimming (88 per cent)

Use hot and cold experiences (71 per cent)

See children’s fun sessions (54 per cent)

Go to aquatic exercise classes (55 per cent)]

Have swimming lessons (50 per cent)

Those who completed the consultation said they would not like to:

Have diving lessons (56 per cent)

Do water polo (63 per cent)

Attend galas/events (52 per cent)

Have swimming parties (48 per cent)

Attend health and wellbeing sessions (49 per cent)

Use competitive swimming/coaching training (49 per cent)

Attend lifesaving courses/training (51 per cent)