Construction underway on new swimming pool
Construction on Ollerton’s brand new swimming pool is underway, as part of a major investment programme in leisure facilities across the district.
Due to open in the summer of 2021, a 20 metre by 10 metre pool with five lanes is being installed, adjoining the existing building, bringing a much-needed boost to Newark and Sherwood District Council's Dukeries Leisure Centre.
The purpose built pool will come with a reception area, unisex changing village, poolside storage and associated pool plant room.
With a 32 per cent population growth anticipated by 2026 in Ollerton and nearby Boughton, an improved leisure facility in the area is needed to meet the expected rise in demand, while opening up even more opportunities for people to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.
The leisure centre, which is run by the District Council’s own leisure company, Active4Today, is situated next to an area of land earmarked for a new housing development site, with more than 200 new homes planned on land between Hallam Road and Stepnall Heights.
Councillor Roger Jackson, Chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Leisure and Environment Committee, said: “Currently, leisure centres across the country are recovering from months of closure, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite current usage restrictions still being in place, the Council is forging ahead with its ambitious plans to create swimming opportunities for all, resulting in happier, healthier and safer communities.
“Ollerton and Boughton is the largest population centre in Sherwood and the previous leisure facilities simply would not accommodate the needs of the growing number of inhabitants. Our residents deserve and need a top class leisure facility and I’m really pleased that work is getting underway.
“Swimming is an important skill to be taught from a young age and the new pool will ensure that the facility can be enjoyed for generations, improving the health and well-being of everyone in the area, both now and into the future.”
A representative of Total Swimming, one of the project partners, World Champion and Olympic Swimmer, Mark Foster said: “In such a difficult time, it’s so heartening to see councils like Newark and Sherwood really prioritising the health and wellbeing of their community. Not only will this pool give local families a place to come and enjoy physical activity together, it will also give children in this area the opportunity to learn how to swim and be safe in water. I look forward to coming down again for a swim once it’s complete.”
The pool project has received great support from Sport England, which has committed a capital grant of £250,000 from its Community Asset Fund which is dedicated to enhancing the spaces in local communities that give people the chance to be active.
Charles Johnston, Property Director for Sport England, said: “In these challenging times for the sport and physical activity sector it is extremely encouraging to see a local authority continuing to invest in its facilities to enable its community to be regularly active. Sport England is proud to offer its financial support to this exciting scheme and we wish the Council and Active4Today every success.”
As a result of the new building sitting on part of the existing car park, new parking spaces are also being added to ensure there is adequate space for all members and users.
The new pool coincides with other major investments in facilities across Newark and Sherwood, which are currently underway, as part of the council’s continued commitment to deliver a more advanced leisure provision in the district.
In 2016, the council opened the new Newark Sports and Fitness Centre, to replace the previous Grove Leisure Centre which was no longer fit for purpose.