Could a new outdoor pool be relocated away from Abbey Fields in Kenilworth?

Outdoor pool currently at Abbey Fields
Outdoor pool currently at Abbey Fields

This week’s approval of the multi-million pound leisure plans for Kenilworth might be seen as the end for campaigners trying to save the town’s  outdoor pool.

But a few members of the Warwick District Council’s (WDC) Executive have suggested the Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group take up their cause with the Kenilworth Town Council to build a new lido at a different venue.

Image of the proposed cafe at the modernised Abbey Fields leisure facility

Image of the proposed cafe at the modernised Abbey Fields leisure facility

Executive member Cllr Jan Matecki said if the people of Kenilworth want an outdoor pool then it’s a matter they can take up with their town council.

Cllr Richard Hales, a former Kenilworth town councillor, spoke highly of the lido group and suggested they ask the town council to look into a feasibility study about relocating the lido to another area of town.

Cllr Hales added: “The work they’ve done is commendable.”

A spokesperson for the Lido group responded and said: “We wouldn’t dismiss any idea without investigating it.”

Image of new proposed indoor pool at Abbey Fields

Image of new proposed indoor pool at Abbey Fields

Members of the Warwick District Council’s Executive unanimously approved the latest plans Wednesday night for two leisure facilities in Kenilworth, including the Abbey Fields Swimming Pool, which would not include an outdoor Lido pool.

The executive also approved a plan for the Castle Farm Recreation Centre involving a completely new building. The new Castle Farm leisure facility will include an expanded sports hall increasing the badminton courts from four to six, an interactive studio along with an enlarged gym increasing its stations from 27 to 80.

A pre-planning public consultation will now take place between October 21 and November 21, which will give the public the opportunity to comment on the designs.

With the council’s planned improvement of Kenilworth’s leisure facilities it aims to get even more people into the water irrespective of age or ability.

With the recent refurbishment of the leisure centre facilities at Newbold Comyn and St Nicholas Park and the appointment of Everyone Active to manage the facilities there has been a 100 per cent increase in children taking swimming lessons.

District Council Leader Cllr Andrew Day said: “Recent figures show that even during the summer months when the outdoor pool is open, the Abbey Fields indoor pool is heavily used throughout the day by users of different ages for lane swimming and the popular aqua classes.

“Currently, with only one year-round water-space, the centre can only run one activity at a time. An additional indoor pool with a moveable floor and disabled access would allow us to diversify and extend our programmes to reach groups of people who are currently unable to access the water.”

One of several new things the swimming facility will offer will be direct pool access via a hoist from a changing place facility for the disabled, the first of its kind in the district.

Local parent and ambassador for changing place facilities Emily Naismith said: “I am sure that I can speak for the whole of the local disabled community in saying that I am delighted with the new designs for Abbey Fields.

"I am especially pleased that you are not only planning a changing place facility, but that it will include a hoist which can take a disabled person directly into the pool. Many people take going swimming with their families for granted, at the moment families like mine simply don’t have access, this will be life-changing for so many people across the district.”