Mill House swimming baths to be split in two to boost income

Mill House Leisure Centre
Mill House Leisure Centre

PLANS to install a new boom and split a popular swimming pool in two have been endorsed by senior councillors.

Hartlepool Borough Council is looking to start the work, which aims to make best use of the L-shaped pool and generate income, in November at the Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road.

The permanent bulkhead will cost around £80,000 to install and the pool would be closed for up to four weeks, at a further cost of £20,000 in lost income.

But the measures will help generate £48,000 per year through increased income and councillors said it was a “no-brainer” as it would help save money in the long-term.

The Mill House Leisure Centre has a life-span of between 12 to 15 years.

But councillors said the local authority would still get at least 10 years’ of financial benefit from the work.

Councillor sitting on the regeneration services committee agreed to install the boom with the reservation that they would reconsider the plans if the Mill House Master Plan development – which aims to revamp that area with new leisure and housing facilities – gets off the ground before November. Members said they were wary of committing funds to the swimming pool if its future was uncertain under the master plan.

John Mennear, the council’s assistant director of community services, said: “We need to be able to provide a swimming facility that not only provides for all types and levels of swimmer, but also maximises revenue opportunities.”

By splitting the pool into a 20m and 25m pool officers say there would be “greater flexibility” of space to meet need and demand and it would be easier to meet the swimming club’s training needs.

The work, if it goes ahead, would coincide with scheduled maintenance work.

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