Sunderland swimming pool set to be shut under cuts

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A POPULAR swimming pool is facing the axe in the wake of council cuts.

Castle View Enterprise Academy’s swimming pool, which is widely used by the whole community, is under threat of closure.

Angry residents say the pool, built in 1997, is a vital facility, particularly for young people.

Janet Bridges, principal at Castle View, confirmed the pool is at risk of going under.

She said: “We have received notice that the local authority will stop their financial support for the pool from August 2014. 

“We understand the difficult decisions the council must make, but we are upset that this valuable resource for our community is under threat. 

“We are currently seeking alternative support from the council and other partners to see how we may be able to save the pool from closure and find other sources of funding to keep it open for our local children and residents.”

Mrs Bridges said if a year’s worth of funding is invested in making the pool more energy efficient it could become self sufficient within five years.

John Roberts, 60, a Castletown resident, who uses the pool several times a week, said: “When I first heard about this, I thought they were just planning to close it to the community, which was bad enough, but then when I found out it would be closed to the children as well, I just couldn’t believe it.

He said the academy pool not only serves its own students, but is used by all the feeder primary schools in the area. It also runs a range of classes such as aqua natal, aqua aerobics, family fun, over 50s and fun inflatable sessions.

Councillor Pat Smith, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “The city council is working closely with the Castle View Enterprise Academy looking at how the centre continues to be supported. This includes how the centre can be part of the city’s wider network of facilities.”