Birmingham's 20 minute swim

The Birmingham Post has reported on plans set to be approved by Birmingham City Council's Cabinet next week for a swimming pool within 20 minutes walk of every resident; City council set to splash out on swimming pools.

Four projects are set to be approved by the cabinet with a fifth put on the backburner. The projects set for approval are the 50 metre Olympic swimming centre, new pool and gym for Harborne, the re-opening of the Balsall Heath Moseley Road's second pool and the demolishing and rebuilding of Sparkhill baths. The planned refurbishment of Stechford's Cascades Centre has been postponed with the money for this project used on the redevelopment of Sparkhill baths.

Further details on the background to the plans and the Council's study on swimming pool provision are in my earlier post Olympic pool metres too far?

The postponement of the Stechford pool refurbishment has allowed money to go to Sparkhill and the opening of the second pool on Moseley Road. The Mosely Road pool is historically important and has been supported by a long running campaign to refurbish the pool against earlier calls for it to be rebuilt as a cheaper option.

Moseley Road is the UK’s only grade II-listed Edwardian swimming pool but its future has been in doubt because of the cost. One of the pools re-opened several years ago, but the second one remained closed because of lack of money.
Coun Mullaney said it would cost between one and two million pounds to do this and that was the option they were now exploring.

One option to move towards the ambitious swimming pools within 20 minute walks of residents is putting the city's swimming pools into a leisure trust which would release money. This is already done in Sandwell and would free up resources.

Planning applications for the 50 metre olympic pool and Harborne Baths are due to be submitted later this month. Details on the 50 metre pool and Harborne Baths development are reported in my earlier blog post, Olympic Pool to boost City's sporting provision.


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