New opening month for Northampton swimming pool revealed after seven month setback

The county council has given another opening month for the Duston Swimming pool which has been shut for more than a year.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:40 pm
The Duston School swimming pool is finally set to reopen, after shutting on July 6 2018

The pool, where generations of children have been taught to swim, will receive £45,000 of county council funding to improve facilities including the changing rooms and essential repair works to the pool.

Back in February this year Northamptonshire County Council started repair works.

They said it would take four weeks to complete and they would reopen the pool in April this year.

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Northampton school pool set to reopen after long-running disagreement over repai...

But another seven months have passed, which has prompted the Chronicle & Echo to ask the council again for an opening date.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council this week said: “We’ve completed the works and are now liaising with the school on snagging works.

“We anticipate the pool re-opening for November.”

Previously the council and The Duston School were at loggerheads and said each other were responsible for the delay in reopening.

Their long running dispute was resolved in February 2019.

Although The Duston School is an academy and managed independently, the county council said it would support the school and fund repair works to 'safeguard important swimming facilities for children'.

Until 2015, schools received a subsidy from central government to meet the costs of operating pool facilities but schools funding formula subsequently changed and the subsidy was removed.

Rose Osbourne has been a volunteer teacher at The Duston Pool for 38 years and said she has missed teaching while it's been shut for the past 15 months.

The 73-year-old became interested in swimming when her son, who is now 44, was six years old.

Mrs Osbourne teaches students from the age of three at the pool for an hour every Sunday between 3 o'clock and 4 o'clock and buys them Christmas and Easter presents out of her own money.

She said: "I enjoy swimming, I go up there and teach the children or anyone who wants to swim.

"I teach them so they can get their badges and if they get a badge they are so thrilled to bits with it.

"They would all have a lolly after their session which is bought out of my own money. They have gifts at Christmas and Easter which is bought out of my own money. We all miss the pool so much.

"When it opens are people going to go back to it? It's really upsetting me. People are really eager to see it open."