Northampton school pool set to reopen after long-running disagreement over repairs is resolved

The Duston School swimming pool is finally set to reopen, after shutting on July 6.
The Duston School swimming pool is finally set to reopen, after shutting on July 6.

An disagreement that led to a Northampton swimming pool being shut for eight months a has been resolved - after county council officials agreed to foot the repair bill.

The Duston School swimming pool, where generations of children have been taught to swim, shut on July 6 due to an issue with the flooring there.

School leaders and county council officials have been at loggerheads ever since over who should pay for the repairs.

But Northamptonshire County Council has now pledged £45,000 towards improving the changing rooms and carrying out the essential repair works to the pool.

Repairs have begun and will take four weeks to complete - with the pool expected to reopen in April.

Leader of the council Mat Golby said: “We have been in discussions with The Duston School to ensure the pool can be reopened, and we’re delighted that repair works have begun.

“This is a much-loved and well used swimming pool and these repair works will help to ensure it stays open for many years to come, not only for the pupils of The Duston School, but for students across Northamptonshire.”

Although The Duston School is an academy and managed independently, the county council says it is 'supporting' the school and funding 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. The schools funding formula subsequently changed and the subsidy was removed.

Sam Strickland, headteacher of The Duston School said: “We're pleased that the council is working with the school to rectify this issue and are looking forward to seeing the pool re-opened in the not too distant future so that the school and wider community can once again enjoy this facility.”