‘Help us save Knottingley pool’

Knottingley swimming pool - earmarked for closure.'p302b405
Knottingley swimming pool - earmarked for closure.'p302b405

Residents are being urged to back a campaign to save Knottingley swimming pool by setting up a community group to run the facility.

Wakefield Council has announced plans to close the Hill Top building, along with pools in Pontefract and Castleford and replace them with one leisure centre in either Glass Houghton or Pontefract Park.

Campaigners and councillors staged a protest at the pool earlier this month and now MP Yvette Cooper wants to set up a group to run the pool as a community asset.

She said: “Our pools are really important. They are used by people of all ages to stay fit and healthy in the heart of our communities. We need to do everything we can and look at every possible option to support our local pools.”

She said she wanted to hear residents’ views.

She said: “Council officers have said the costs of Knottingley pool are particularly challenging but the pool is so important to the community.

“Lots of people in the town will have good ideas or expertise about how best we can keep the pool open.

“We want people in Knottingley to come forward and help.”

A report, commissioned by the council in February, said Knottingley, Pontefract and Castleford pools needed urgent repairs costing £1.3m, with ‘potential failure of any of these three a realistic prospect in the near future’.

It set out a number of options, including closing the three sites and building a new leisure centre in Glass Houghton, at Pontefract Park or at the former Prince of Wales Colliery site.

The new facility would cost between £12.6m and £13.6m, depending on the location.

Under the plan, Knottingley Sports Centre would be upgraded, with an additional 30 health and fitness stations provided, at a cost of £2.4m.

Knottingley councillors Graham Stokes and Harry Ellis have backed the campaign.

Coun Stokes said: “It’s important in the current economic climate that we all work together to protect services for the most vulnerable in society.”

For more information or if you would like to get involved contact Ms Cooper’s office on 01977 553388.