Exciting plans to replace Ripon Spa Baths with a ‘seven figure’ investment for a new swimming pool are being explored by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC).
At a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday evening, (October 14), councillors discussed a feasibility study to develop a new swimming pool provision in Ripon.
Councillors explored the costs associated with a swimming provision as part of a wet and dry leisure facility on the Ripon Leisure Centre site on Dallamires Lane. Coun Stan Lumley, Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport, confirmed a new swimming facility in Ripon was his ‘top priority’ and said he was confident of gaining the necessary support from the Cabinet.
He said: “We have to address the situation in Ripon. It’s an old building and it’s well beyond its sell by date.
“What I’m looking for now is to move this forward from the Cabinet to further develop this study. This has been my top priority and the thing I wanted to address most urgently.
“It’s extremely exciting to combine the dry and wet facilities because it’s a system that works well.
“Once the approval is given this will be a top priority and it will be great to be able to put something back into the community.”
Coun Lumley explained that the council would finance the ‘significant’ investment through funds gained from the council office move to Knapping Mount.
Plans were explored eight years ago for a new £3.2m pool in the city but these fell through after the council was unable to gain full support.
However, Coun Lumley says HBC now have the financial backing to push forward is hoping the council gets to work quickly on finalising the plans.
Cabinet member and Ripon City Councillor Mike Chambers said he was pleased to see the council were pursuing plans for a new pool in the city.
He said: “I have been pushing for it behind the scenes along with other Ripon councillors at Harrogate for some considerable time.
“It’s obviously badly needed, the pool we all know is very much on its last legs and there’s a question mark over how much longer we can go on with it.
“I have no doubt it will come to fruition in a reasonable time and we will get a new pool in Ripon. This has long been asked for and will meet with a significant vote of approval.”
Arguments have arisen over the location for a new swimming pool but Coun Chambers is hoping it will be built on Dallamires Lane along with the leisure centre.
“I hope people will see that it makes sense to combine the facilities we have got and this also fits in with the Healthy Ripon project,” Coun Chambers said.
“It’s what we have been calling for for a long time and hopefully people of Ripon will accept this as the good news that it is.
“We desperately need a new pool so we should seize this opportunity with both hands and make sure it gets built.”