A £200k prize boost could kick start the restoration of the historic Health Hydro.

Swindon swimming club the Dolphins ASC could win the cash in a national public vote organised by developers Persimmon Homes.

If successful, the club wants to use the money to restore the training pool at the town centre Health Hydro – shut since 2016.

It comes a week after Swindon Borough Council and GLL, who operate the historic pool, said that maintaining the centre would cost £1.7 million over the next 10 years. Work is now underway to identify “sustainable solutions” for the building.

Louise Oliver, Dolphins head coach, said that the closure of the small training pool in early 2016 had hit the club’s training programme hard – making it almost impossible to teach children under five how to swim.

“It’s been used for donkeys years to teach swimmers right from the age of two or three,” Louise said.

“Two years ago there were problems underground with the pipes.

“The council and GLL looked at the works and what need to be done and made the decision that it was too costly to repair.”

GLL said at the time that the cost to fix the pool was prohibitive and it was “with great reluctance” that they had shut it.

Sceptical Louise said: “I don’t think you can put a cost on learning to swim.”

However, there could now be some hope on the horizons as Dolphins ASC are in with a chance of winning £200,000 from developers Persimmon.

They need to win more votes than 29 other sports clubs to be in with a chance of clinching the cash – offered through Persimmon’s Healthy Communities fund.

Calling the cash a potential “game-changer” for swimming in Swindon, coach Dean Fouracer said: “The restoration of the teaching pool at the Health Hydro in the centre of Swindon will not only benefit the club but will create a valuable new facility for schools and swimming clubs in the area.”

Richard Briggs, managing director of Persimmon Homes Wessex, said: "The aim of the Healthy Communities scheme is to help create a sporting legacy, and we believe Swindon Dolphin ASC could do this if they win the £200,000. We would urge local people to get behind this group by adding their vote online, as the work they do is tremendous.”

It is estimated that £1.7m will be needed over the next decade to maintain the Health Hydro.

Although a GLL-funded condition survey found that the building, which opened in 1891, was structurally sound, new restoration work was needed.

A council spokesman said: “We are working with GLL and local stakeholders, including the swimming clubs, to carry out an options appraisal for the Health Hydro.

“The swimming club prepared the bid so we are unaware of the precise details. However, it is great news the club is in with a chance of winning the funding and we encourage residents to get behind the bid. 

“At this point we cannot say how it might affect the future of the building or the options appraisal.”

People have until March 16 to cast their votes for Dolphins ASC.
If you would like to vote, visit: www.persimmonhomes.com/healthy-communities/finalists.