Decision taken to close 50-year-old Asfordby school swimming pool

A primary school swimming pool which has been used by pupils and community groups for half-a-century is to be closed for good and probably eventually demolished, trustees have announced today (Thursday).

By Nick Rennie
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 6:30 am
Nathan Odom, head of estates and admissions for Discovery Schools, and Sarah Sadler, executive head at Asfordby Captain Close School, pictured by the school swimming pool EMN-220102-105249001

We reported in October that parents and stakeholders were being consulted about the future of the baths at Asfordby Captain’s Close School because significant investment was needed to bring it up to modern standards.

Most of those who responded were against it being closed permanently but because no viable alternative plans have been put forward, Discovery Schools - the trust which manages the school - has decided it will not be used again.

The pool is considered too small, it has no toilets, no disabled access and the aluminium roof frame is not insulated which makes the facility very cold during winter months.

The 50-year-old swimming pool at Asfordby Captain's Close School which is the subject of a new consultation to decide its future EMN-220102-105259001

The trust believes it would take hundreds of thousands of pounds to rectify the issues and applications for funding have already been rejected.

Revealing the results of the consultation exercise, which took place between October 21 and December 3, Nathan Odom, head of estates and admissions for the trust, told the Melton Times: “As you can expect the responses were not positive in terms of the pool being closed and the ideas people put forward, which we welcomed, were based around community fundraising and seeking lottery funding which we have already fully explored before the consultation.

“As a result the decision was taken by the trustees to close the pool indefinitely.

“It is a huge shame but it has served the community well for 50 years.”

The 50-year-old swimming pool at Asfordby Captain's Close School which is the subject of a new consultation to decide its future EMN-220102-105309001

The trust was disappointed with the low number of responses to the consultation - only 15 representations were received, with 13 from residents in the community, one from a sport group and the other from a local authority.

Parents and stakeholders will receive letters today from the trust confirming the decision to close the pool.

Plans will now be drawn up to decide how the site will be used, with the pool building to be demolished at some point, and the trust pledges to consult the community again before anything is decided.

Mr Odom explained: “In terms of the future of that space, no decision has been made.

The 50-year-old swimming pool at Asfordby Captain's Close School which is the subject of a new consultation to decide its future EMN-220102-105319001

“We would seek to develop something for the benefit of children and add something which would have longevity and be for the good of the education for children living in Asfordby and local area.”

The pool was drained during lockdown because it was unable to be used due to coronavirus restrictions and the cost of keeping the water heated was prohibitive.

Pupils are now using the baths at Melton’s Waterfield Leisure Centre and will continue to do so in future.

Mr Odom added: “I can understand the disappointment over the closure of the facility but we have very good alternative options to ensure the children learn how to swim and meet the curriculum requirements before they leave us in year six.”