SWINDON is waiting with bated breath to find out whether an Olympic pool used by the world’s top swimmers can be relocated to the Link Centre after the summer’s Games.
Swindon Council has submitted an outline proposal to the London 2012 Organising Committee to get about £1m worth of top-of-the-range equipment used in a temporary training pool, based in London.
Under the outline plans, a 50-metre pool, incorporating this key equipment, would be constructed in a new £4m building on the site of the Link’s 3G sports pitches, which would be relocated elsewhere on the site.
The pool, which would replace the existing 25m pool, would be Swindon’s first Olympic-sized facility and would allow the town to host more swimming galas. However, half its floor would be capable of being tilted to reduce the water level for less competent swimmers.
Coun Keith Williams, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for leisure and strategic transport, said he suspected a decision would be made in October.
He said: “It really is a case of waiting and seeing what happens. I would hope that we stand a very good chance. Obviously we’ve got a very good leisure team, a very good sport development team here, and we’ve also got some very strong swimming clubs. So I think these are some of the things the Amateur Swimming Association will look at.”
Coun Williams said the council would have to find the money to build the pool building, probably through borrowing, but it would be more energy-efficient and cost a similar amount to run as the existing pool.
However, he said the council would not start thinking about finance for the new building and the more detailed plans until it heard about progress on the bid. In the meantime, the council is undertaking the £75,000 eight-week project to replace the tiles on the existing pool.
He said: “We aren’t going to commit to any finance before we know anything about it because there’s every chance it could come to nothing.
“It’s something we’ve looked at strategically, but no detail is going to be worked up until we know we’re actually in with a chance for it.”