Support for demolishing unused pool

A SWIMMING pool is a step closer to being demolished after councillors backed proposals to close it earlier than planned.

Brinkburn pool, which is on land next to Hartlepool Sixth Form College, off Blakelock Road, is not open to the public and it could be closed and knocked down to save £50,000.

In January, there was a “significant” leak at the pool, which was being used by primary school children, forcing it to shut while running repairs were carried out.

Some of the schools using it for their Primary Swim Programme were relocated to Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road, but they have since decided to stay there as the facilities are better at the recently revamped leisure centre.

Meanwhile, other schools have decided to permanently use pools at town secondary schools instead.

That means there is currently nobody using Brinkburn pool and officers are proposing that it is closed earlier than planned, rather than spend further money on the pool which was built in the early 1970s.

The pool was due to close in July this year as part of an efficiency drive by the council.

Members of Hartlepool Borough Council’s cabinet committee backed plans to bring forward the closure, as long as there is no interest from any organisations willing to take it over.

A report to the meeting said there was a “clear lack of interest”, but independent Elwick councillor Hilary Thompson said there had been late interest from Hartlepool College of Further Education.

College staff will visit the site, but if they do not take it any further then the building will be demolished at an estimated cost of £60,000 and the land could be used as a potential development site.

Coun Thompson said: “I do have concerns about proposals to save £50,000, but then spend £60,000 on demolishing it. We are going out to tender which will hopefully get that price down.”

From April, Mill House Leisure Centre will be closed to the public between 9am and noon weekdays during term time to allow school children to use the pool.

Labour councillor Pamela Hargreaves said it was important to highlight the plans so that customers are not disappointed when they turn up and cannot go in.

John Mennear, the council’s assistant director of child and adult services, told councillors that regular swimmers had been told and that notices were also up in the reception area.

He also reassured members that while the school swimming sessions would restrict public access during term times there was a popular early morning session available between 7.30am and 9am.