‘Surplus’ school pool is closed

Former Brierton School swimming pool
Former Brierton School swimming pool

A SWIMMING pool has been closed by council bosses because they say it is no longer needed.

Hartlepool Borough Council has closed Brierton swimming pool, in Brierton Lane, because it would be too costly to maintain.

The pool is on the site of the former Brierton School, which closed in July 2009.

It had been used by hundreds of youngsters from primary schools across town over the years.

But council chiefs say the pool is no longer needed as Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road, can cater for swimming lessons.

It comes as the council takes over the running of the lottery-funded Brierton Sports Centre and playing fields.

The sports centre and pool has been run by Dyke House Sports and Technology College in recent years once Brierton School closed.

Staff and students from Dyke House have been based at the Brierton site while their Mapleton Road school underwent a major £12.4m revamp under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.

But they will return in January and the Brierton site has now been returned to the council.

Figures show it will cost the council about £100,000 a year to run the sports centre for community use with the potential for an extra £100,000 if equipment brought by Dyke House is taken when they move.

The Brierton pool closed its doors for the final time on Friday, December 23.

The majority of primary swimming sessions are now held at Mill House Leisure Centre, in the town’s Raby Road.

A council spokesman said: “The council has announced its intention to maintain the lottery-funded sports centre and associated playing fields, with staff transferring to the council’s sports and recreation section.

“However, the swimming pool is surplus to requirements in terms of the swimming needs of the town and would be costly to maintain.

“Therefore, it is not transferring.”

The spokesman added: “The Dyke House College swimming programme is transferring to Dyke House and alternative arrangements are being made for the provision of private swimming lessons.

“Every opportunity has been taken to encourage the transfer of primary swimming and private swimming lessons to Mill House Leisure Centre where capacity and experienced coaching can be provided.”

Meanwhile, the top site at Brierton could be demolished at an estimated cost of £200,000 as part of wider plans for the whole site, as report in the Mail.

Brierton School was spread over two sites and the top site is currently empty.

Council officers are consulting on plans to demolish it in a bid to save on security costs.

A report is expected to go back before councillors in June next year.