New £30m Olympic-sized swimming pool could be built in Lincoln
A new £30 million Olympic-sized swimming pool could be built in Lincoln.
The Echo can reveal work on a 50-metre public pool would start within two years.
Early plans are in place for a health spa, wave pool and jacuzzi. They also include proposals for a two-storey car park with artificial football pitches built on top. A cafeteria would also be built.
The University of Lincoln is close to striking a deal that would see it buy a large plot of land from an unnamed company in the city centre.
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The university's director of sport, Robin Wright, said: "Ultimately it will be up to the city to decide what it wants. It will be a public facility and we want it to benefit as many people as possible.
"Lincolnshire does not have a particularly young population so perhaps a health spa would appeal more to them than say a 50-metre swimming pool.
"I know some people will want a 50-metre pool.
"We cannot disclose the location of the proposed development yet because the project is at a very early stage.
"All I can say is that it will be a class location.
"Lincoln needs this kind of innovation. We want people to stay here and people from outside the city to want to visit because of the superb facilities we hope to have."
The scheme should be up and running by 2016. It will create more than 30 permanent jobs.
Head coach at Lincoln Vulcans Swimming Club Fred Furniss, whose brother coaches double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, said: "This is very positive news. If you take our club for example, we train swimmers up to a very high standard and they move on to a different city. The prospect of a 50-metre pool will change all of that."
The university is working in partnership with councils in central Lincolnshire to bring forward the plan.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City of Lincoln Council, said: "This would be a marvellous facility."
Chief Executive of North Kesteven District Council Ian Fytche added: "This is an interesting proposal, but in advance of the finalisation and publication of that sports strategy we must remain open-minded as to its merit, suitability and implications."
Parent-of-three Helen Nicholls, from North Hykeham, takes two of her children swimming with Lincoln Vulcans every week.
She said: "A new public swimming pool is really good news.
"I know many parents who take their children to Doncaster to swim in a wave pool.
"Something like that in Lincoln is needed.
"A lot of our elite swimmers leave the city for other bigger cities with better facilities."
Meanwhile Lincoln-based personal trainer Paul Cook said: "This would be brilliant news for the city. Lincoln has been crying out for more swimming facilities for a long time.
"Swimming is the perfect exercise for rehabilitation and avoiding sports injuries.
"More than anything it's great fun and a chance for families to do something together."