At the latest meeting of the Ladywood Ward Committee last night, we had very welcome news from Cllr Albert Bore, leader of BCC…
After years of disappointments, there will be a new swimming pool in Ladywood.
It will contain a 25m 8-lane competition-standard pool (2m depth throughout) with audience seating for 500, a 13m training pool, gym, dance studios, community rooms and some catering.
The pool is designed to attract regional and national youth level competitions, as well as providing swimming for local people.
The building will be in the same area as the old Ladywood swimming baths which fronted onto Ladywood Middleway; this should ensure good transport links. Although the project is seen as part of the Icknield Port Loop development, it is not conditional upon the rest of that project proceeding.
Contracts for the building and management of the facility will be signed in April 2015, for completion before the end of 2017. This is part of a much larger plan by the council for replacement and refurbishment of swimming pools across the city. They are funding this by using the current swimming pool subsidy more imaginatively.
It was not such good news on the NIA Community Hall. Cllr Bore stated that, as part of the process for selling its interest in the NIA/ICC group, the city council is imposing conditions on the new owner of the NIA. Specifically, it has stipulated that local schools should have priority use of the Community Hall – after the very first priority as warm-up for arena events. This is bad news for users of the Community Hall gym and exercise classes, which would seem to be doomed.
It seems that residents wanting local exercise facilities will have to wait until the new Ladywood Pool opens.