Hundreds back fresh push for town lido
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Almost 1,000 people have already backed a fresh push to get an outdoor swimming pool in Fakenham.
The voluntary group Active Fakenham last week launched a campaign for a lido, which its chairman, Richard Crook, said had been a "burning issue in the town for many years".
The petition has so far gathered hundreds of signatures and Mr Crook said: "I've looked at the figures and over half of the people [who have signed it] are in NR21 postcodes, so it shows there is a groundswell of local support."
Mr Crook said a different approach was being taken to the new campaign, with a goal of building a pool that was carbon neutral and would break even.
He said the pool could be built on a site off Trap Lane which is owned by the town council or another site near the junction of Highfield Road and Field Lane - a site owned by the county council, where there is currently a derelict swimming pool.
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Mr Crook said he did not know how much the pool would cost to build, but thought it would be less than the £12.6 million which is being spent on The Reef, the new leisure centre to replace Sheringham's Splash.
"Outside pools are much cheaper than indoor pools but to build and to run, and there are heating systems now that mean you can use the pool longer throughout the year," he said.
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One person who signed the petition said: "It's an amazing idea that would be used and valued by all. Look at how popular Beccles Lido is."
Another supporter commented: "I have struggled to get in at any local pool to do my physio exercises. I would love there to be a pool in Fakenham again. Not only is swimming a great exercise physically and mentally, it's also an essential life skill."
Mr Crook said he had previously been involved in a campaign for an indoor swimming pool in Fakenham, but now accepted this was not achievable "in the short term".
"However, an outdoor lido that could potentially be revenue neutral is a healthy and achievable short term alternative.
"It brings economic and social benefits at a time when we need imaginative solutions to problems related to town centres."
The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/north-norfolk-district-council-build-the-fakenham-lido