Village pool plan hangs in balance

PUBLISHED: 14:05 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:15 31 May 2010

Linton s campaign for a village swimming pool could sink or swim at a crucial meeting tonight (Thursday). Villagers have been trying to secure a pool for their community for more than 50 years, with many campaigns failing to make any serious headway. Pari

Linton's campaign for a village swimming pool could sink or swim at a crucial meeting tonight (Thursday).

Villagers have been trying to secure a pool for their community for more than 50 years, with many campaigns failing to make any serious headway.

Parish council chairman Graham Potter said: "When I was a schoolboy at Linton Village College, between 1962 and 1967, I can remember a project to get a swimming pool for the village.

"A collection towards the cause was begun, but we never got very far."

Cllr Potter said that some money had been raised towards the project, but that it was just a small amount to help with administration costs.

He said: "The council is certainly behind the idea of a pool for the village, but unfortunately we are not in a position to be able to offer monetary support towards the project."

Joan Smith, a 75-year-old former district councillor, has been at the forefront of the campaign for more than a decade and is part of the registered charity Linton Area Pool Project's (LAPP) committee.

Regarding tonight's meeting, she said: "This is a make-or-break meeting. If we cannot find enough new people to take things forward and raise the money needed, the project will die. It's as simple as that."

The swimming pool building would be located on land between the village college and the Granta School, both of which would benefit from the facility if it was built.

As well as a 20m by 8m pool, the two-storey complex would include a café and bar, a games room and a public meeting room.

Caroline Derbyshire, Linton Village College principal, said: "The college has always been in favour of the project and has invested considerable time in the past trying to secure money and get permission from the Sports Council.

"It is a great shame that we are currently unable to offer swimming lessons on our curriculum and we would very much like to in the future.

"I am sure our students would be very happy to get involved with fund-raising, but I would not want to get their hopes up without knowing that most of the required money had already been secured."

The cost of the swimming pool is estimated to be about £1 million, but Mrs Smith said that more than just money was required to keep the pool project going.

"If the LAPP is to survive, we need a new committee with new enthusiasm. Maybe such people can be found among newcomers to the area.

"There are plenty of detailed feasibility studies and technical information in good order in the supporting paperwork for a new committee to build on."

If tonight's meeting does not lead to the election of new committee officers, Mrs Smith said the LAPP will be dissolved and the project abandoned.

The meeting, at 8pm in the Cathodeon Centre on Horseheath Road, Linton, is open to the public and anyone who wishes to attend is encouraged to do so.

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