York swimming pool ‘at risk of immediate closure’ without £250K cash injection
A much-loved York swimming pool is in danger of imminent closure unless £250K can be found to upgrade its facilities.
New Earswick Swimming Pool is under threat from ageing boilers and a leaking roof.
Now an urgent fundraising campaign has been launched to raise £250K to save it for future generations.
The pool was nearly lost in 2017, when it was earmarked for closure and demolition. It was saved thanks to a campaign by Friends of New Earswick Swimming Pool.
It was registered as a community asset under a 25-year lease signed in January 2019.
Since then, the pool has survived being closed for months due to Covid, and the massive hike in energy prices.
Now however, it faces another existential threat.
One of the boilers that heats the water has already failed. A spokesperson for the campaign said: “The other two are very old and it’s a race against time to get the funding before they fail too – if that happens, the pool will have to close immediately.”
Funds are also needed to replace the leaking roof and outdated changing rooms.
They need £250,000 in total – the first target is £50K for new boilers.
Ward councillors are backing a fundraising campaign that’s just been launched.
Lib Dem Carol Runciman said: “The pool is a valued community facility that is at the heart of our local area and is used by people from around the city.
“In over 55 years since it was built, thousands of children have learnt to swim there, learning a life saving skill and making lifelong friends and memories.”
Luke Charters, Labour parliamentary candidate for York Outer, said: “Me and my brother used to have swimming lessons at New Earswick Swimming Pool.
“Ideally we need a government which properly funds integral community assets such as this, but if you can, please support their fundraising campaign.”
Hughie Ferguson, Labour council candidate for Huntington and New Earswick, also has a personal connection.
“My two children love having their swimming lessons at New Earswick Swimming Pool,” he said. “This community asset needs to be protected and personally I feel that local grassroots sports clubs need our support as they are vital to the local community.”
The pool opened in 1966 by the Rowntree Trust with the support of local community, with children asked to donate ‘half a crown’ and the villagers joining a ‘buy a brick’ scheme.
As part of the garden village scheme, it was built to enhance the health and well being of the local community.
It is now hired out the pool to a range of swimming schools and clubs, including the local primary school, parent and toddler, scuba diving and swimming schools.
Cllr Runciman added: “As local councillors, we will do all we can to support the campaign and the Friends of New Earswick Swimming Pool group. If you can, please do support the campaign and donate.”