Governors call for help to keep Saffron Walden County High School swimming pool open

SCHOOL governors have called on members of the community to make a big splash if they wish to keep an outdoor swimming pool open.

Saffron Walden County High School’s swimming pool is at risk of being closed down unless support and funding can be found.

Chair of governors Mark Hayes said the heated pool had become too expensive to run and that long term investment was needed to keep it going.

“The open-air pool isn’t being used by the school as swimming is not on the curriculum and we do not feel the school can spend time and money on something it doesn’t use.

“We need a group to come forward in the mould of Saffron Screen to take ownership of the swimming pool and for the community to get behind it and want to keep the facility open. People were keen to make the cinema happen and it took a huge effort to set that up.”

The school is keen to receive a proposal from a group or individual by the end of this term, but would accept an initial approach if the community showed an interest in saving the “once much-loved pool”.

“Last time we had a good summer the pool was really busy but the weather hasn’t been favourable in recent years,” Mr Hayes added. “We would be interested in hearing what people think about the future of the pool.”

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Anne Cardwell, a former chairman of the PTA swimming club, has kicked off the campaign to save the pool, and wants to get backing from the community to invest in the cause.

“If someone has the energy this would be such an asset to our community, especially as it’s an Olympic year.

“An outdoor pool is such a rarity it would be shame to let it go without exploring the options,” she said.

Proposals should explain how additional funding will be brought in so the school no longer has to provide considerable financial subsidy for the facility.Other important issues to consider are health and safety legislation and providing suitably qualified lifeguards.

All proposals will be looked at by the governing body and anyone who has submitted a promising plan will be invited to a meeting to discuss it further.