Sport, Leisure and Culture and Children’s Services Cabinet Member – Minutes – 1 April 2010

1 (1) HUNTCLIFF POOL – The Service Director Asset Management and Culture and Service Director Children and Young People submitted a joint report seeking approval for the replacement of Huntcliff School Pool as part of the Free Swimming Capital Modernisation Programme.

Significant development of the sporting infrastructure of North Lincolnshire had occurred in recent years. Investment across sports facilities included new fitness suites at several leisure centres, refurbishment of dilapidated changing facilities, a new leisure centre in Barton upon Humber and the ongoing Pods development. BSF monies would also transform sports facilities in schools, although in the foreseeable future, this was limited to the Scunthorpe urban area.

The council introduced free public swimming sessions for those aged 60 (or over) and those aged 16 (or under) starting from 1 April 2009 running until 31 March 2011. The Government’s “Free Swimming Programme” is a £140 million package offered to all local authorities in a series of funding programmes. The programme was divided into four distinct elements as set out in the report.

A condition survey of the pool at Huntcliff School showed that the existing swimming pool plant was approaching the end of its useful life and much of the structure needed major refurbishment and improvement. A new pool was considered the most cost-effective solution to the issues presented. This provided the opportunity to introduce a new facility, which was fit for purpose and capable of delivering the curriculum and wider community needs of this rural area.

The council had been successful in securing a stage 1 approval for a contribution of £1,222,632 towards the £1,272,632 anticipated cost of replacing the existing pool. A second stage bid was submitted that Sport England and the Amateur Swimming Association were currently evaluating. A decision on this matter was expected shortly. It was proposed to make up the £50,000 balance in funding required from Huntcliff School’s approved budgets (devolved formula capital).

A condition of the funding was that the school make the pool available for extended community use, including the offer of free swimming for those under 16 and over 60. As a result, it was likely that running costs for the facility could increase, mainly associated with staffing the pool outside of normal school hours.

Resolved (a) That the Cabinet Members agree to accept in principle any offer of external funding from Sport England towards the cost of replacing the pool and ancillary facilities at Huntcliff School, and (b) that prior to accepting any offer of funding support from Sport England, the issue of any additional revenue cost be fully addressed to prove cost-neutral to the council’s revenue funds.