Pivotal time approaching for £5m Fakenham swimming pool campaign

Fakenham Academy's pool will close after the last aquafit sessions on August 18 and August 20.

Fakenham Academy's pool will close after the last aquafit sessions on August 18 and August 20. - Credit: Archant

Families have been dealt a major blow with the closure of Fakenham Amateur Swimming Club – but a campaign to bring a new pool to the town has been given a significant boost.

The club, which was formed in May 1978 and has around 90 members, has 'gone into a dormant stage' because the forthcoming closure of Fakenham Academy's pool will leave members with nowhere to swim.

Charlotte Wood, chairman of Fakenham Amateur Swimming Club, who is also a member of the campaign group Fakenham Swimming Pool Action (SPA), said: 'It is a great shame after all of these years but we have had to put the club into a dormant stage.

'We have looked at using other pools in the area but there is nowhere that is open at appropriate times for our members.

'We'd love to get the club going again one day, but that could take a long time.

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'Swimming is so vital for the safety of young people here as we live so close to the coast.'

Concerns also remain about the future of other sports clubs who used Fakenham Academy's pool.

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SPA members have met with a regional Sport England representative and learned of the major challenges ahead in their ambitious bid to attract up to £5m needed to bring a new pool to Fakenham.

But their efforts have been given a major boost by news that North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) will commission a facilities strategy survey, which will gather information of sports and leisure facilities throughout the district and, it is hoped, provide vital evidence of the need for a new swimming pool in Fakenham.

The survey will be commissioned by September and will take between six and nine months to complete.

SPA group organiser Janet Holdom said: 'This has followed vigorous lobbying of councillors by our members.

'The survey will hopefully provide the statistical evidence that we need and it will be vital in our bid to attract Sport England funding.'

SPA was formed earlier this year following the news that Fakenham Academy's pool will close and that Fakenham Junior School's pool faces an uncertain future, in both cases due to funding.

The academy pool will close after the last aquafit sessions on August 18 and August 20, from 6pm until 7pm.

Contact Nikki Pearce on 07803 131118 for further information.

SPA members are also looking for businesses to sponsor their efforts to bring a new pool to Fakenham.

For more information, contact Ms Holdom on 01328 863343.

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