Lonsdale Swimming & Sports Trust Ltd have appointed Derby-based property specialists Rigby & Co to support them in their search for a site to build a new £4 million pool and leisure centre in the west of Derby.
The Trust runs the 45-year-old Lonsdale Pool on Varsity Grange – the former Mickleover campus of the University of Derby.
They need to find an alternative 1.5 acre site nearby to build a new 25 metre, eight-lane pool to replace the existing facilities which are becoming increasingly uneconomic to run.
Trust chair Ian Cotter said: “Our search for a new site is gathering pace and we are having some fruitful conversations with several key landowners in the public and private sectors.
“Once we have secured a site and gained planning permission, we can embark on our 40-week building programme to build the new pool, 200-seat viewing area, gym and fitness studio and potentially a second training pool.
“We are delighted to have Rigby & Co on board to support out search and we need the continued support of the city council and potential development partners to ensure that this happens.”
The Trust has run the Lonsdale Pool in Mickleover since 2007 following the site and surrounding land being sold by the University of Derby for housing.
Since then, the pool has been the base for a number of local schools and club training sessions, as a venue for swimming lessons for about 600 children a week and for members of the public.
However, the ageing structure is becoming too expensive to run and needs replacing.
The pool’s extensive running costs are currently supported with £100,000 a year by the developers building Varsity Grange on the former university site under a Section 106 agreement.
This agreement will finish in 2025 at which point, the £1 million received by then will have been completely used up keeping the current pool open rather than being an important lever to attract grant funding and finance. The pool will therefore be closed with a community facility lost forever.