SWIMMING clubs across Swindon have joined a £200k bid to repair a historic training pool.

Swindon Dolphin ASC need fresh public votes every day to be in with a chance of winning the cash from developers Persimmon. They are up against 29 other sports clubs across the country.

If successful, they hope to use the money to restore the small pool at the town centre Health Hydro.

The pool closed in 2016 after managers GLL and Swindon Borough Council deemed repairs too costly.

The reopening of the small pool could see the scaling up of learn-to-swim programmes at the town centre leisure centre.

When the small pool closed, the Dolphins had hundreds of young children in such programmes - now the club is forced to use other swimming pools in Dorcan and West Swindon.

Dean Fouracre, Dolphin ASC president, said: “We’ve got full support from the other clubs in Swindon, who are all pushing it on their websites.

“There’s no guarantee that we can open the small pool, but if we did win the £200,000 that’s enough to bring the pool back into use.

“Although the bid has got Swindon Dolphin’s name on it, this is now bigger than us, which is why we’re pushing it out as a community fund.”

Diane Lee, chairman of Tigersharks ASC, said: “The longevity of Milton Road is vital to the future of swimming in Swindon.

“The small pool is ideal for teaching young people to swim and develop technique, most of the swimming clubs in Swindon used it.

“Olympic medallist Jazz Carlin started here and we owe these fantastic kids that opportunity to learn.

“The large pool is also in a precarious position, we cannot afford to lose this facility.”

Andrea Christmas, president of Swindom Amateur ASC, said: "The pool is sorely-missed, it's by far the best training pool in the area.

"We are 100 per cent united in securing the future of the Hydro, this money would be a game-changer."

"Last year it celebrated its 125th anniversary and we would love for it to continue for another 125 years."

Dean added: “What we’re hoping is that, if we get the £200,000, the clubs would get back the pool time they lost when the small pool closed.

“It should help the clubs get more swimmers in.

“It used to be a very warm pool, the shape and depth of the pool made it ideal for the weaker swimmers.

“Re-opening the pool just enables us to get a lot of our swimming back under one roof, at the moment we’re spread all over the place.”

A survey into the condition of the historic Health Hydro was published earlier this year by GLL and Swindon Borough Council.

It found that £1.7m will be needed over the next decade to maintain the building, which opened in 1891.

An “options appraisal” process will now establish what could be done to secure the building’s future.

The borough council said that it was “great news” that Dolphin ASC had a chance of winning the Persimmon funding.

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

Votting closes on March 16. For more, visit: www.persimmonhomes.com/healthy-communities/finalists.