Peterborough needs 50m pool ‘for development of future Olympians’

The Lido in Bishop's Road
The Lido in Bishop's Road
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A 50m swimming pool is important for the development of future Peterborough Olympians, according to a city councillor.

Speaking at a debate last week on Peterborough’s sporting facilities, Labour member for Bretton Cllr Stuart Martin asked why a “showpiece” sporting development which would be “important for the development of future Olympians” had been condemned.

In response Lisa Roberts, head of culture and leisure at Peterborough City Council, explained that in spite of extensive independent consultation, Sport England had concluded that there simply was “no requirement” for a 50m Olympic-sized pool in the Peterborough area.

She pointed out that the Lido in Bishop’s Road is in fact a 50m pool - even though it is not to Olympic standard and is not open all year round - before adding that there would be approval should a 25m pool be sought for Werrington.

This was a reference to plans revealed in detail by the Peterborough Telegraph last week for a new 25m pool and sporting facilities near Werrington Leisure Centre.

The new facilities would include a new indoor sports hall, new indoor sports courts, new fitness area and new floodlit full size 3G football pitch.

However, no funding has been agreed for the project or date set for any works to begin.

Debate at the Growth, Environment and Resources Scrutiny Committee last week followed the release of the ‘Active Lifestyles & Sport Strategy’ for Peterborough.

Cllr John Fox of the Werrington First group said he accepted in principle the findings of the report, but that it concerned him there was no mention of specific disabled facilities.

Calls for an Olympic-sized swimming pool were made by the same committee last November, including from former council leader Cllr Marco Cereste, with councillors claiming that the revenue would make up the costs of the facility.