Pools Expands Public Swim Sessions To Help Keep Derby Swimming
Two Derby pools are providing extra public swim sessions in response to the increased demand following the closure of Moorways Pool and the temporary closure of Queen’s Leisure Centre.
Lonsdale Swimming & Sports Trust oversees Gayton Pool in Littleover on behalf of Derby City Council as well as Lonsdale Pool in Mickleover, which the charitable trust is currently hoping to replace with a new £4 million facility as soon as another local 1.5 acre site can be secured. Both pools were established primarily to provide public swimming lessons and pool time for the city’s competitive swimming clubs, swimming and schools. There are also specific sessions for adult swimming, babies and toddlers, ladies only and aqua fit classes.
The Trust currently employs 50 staff – including 19 teachers who handle lessons for more than 1,600 children and adults a week at a wide variety of sessions at the two pools. Extra swimming sessions for children of all ages have already been organised due to public demand and an additional five schools have joined the eight who currently bring their pupils to Gayton and the seven schools who have lessons at Lonsdale. Both pools have been inundated with enquiries from the swimming enthusiasts but, with capacity for just 30 people at a time in the pool, are struggling to cope with demand.
Lonsdale Trust Director Ian Cotter explained: “There is definitely a public appetite to ‘Keep Derby Swimming’ and we have done everything we can to accommodate additional schools and clubs who now use our facilities since the closure of Moorways.
“We have extended our opening times with more public swim sessions but have found that some people are turning up speculatively at the pools - expecting to have the same access to Gayton and Lonsdale pools as they did at Moorways and Queen’s Leisure Centre. “We only wish that we could do more to accommodate swimmers of all ages who are now unable to use the Queen Street pool but we are at full capacity from first thing in the morning until late at night.
“I would therefore appeal to people to check the public swim time tables on our website before arriving and to contact us if they are unsure.” Mr Cotter continued that the Trust was currently in discussions with landowners in the west of Derby to find a 1.5 acre site to build a new 25m eight lane pool and leisure facility in the west of Derby to replace the ageing Lonsdale pool. “Our own Lonsdale Pool is more than 40 years old – making it expensive and time consuming to maintain and run.
“The larger pool that we have been planning for several years now is vital to ‘Keep Derby Swimming’. “It would not be the complete solution to providing adequate facilities in the city but it would go some way to accommodate the demand from the local community, children and adult swimming lessons, clubs and elite swimming squads.”
For more information about pool opening times at Gayton and Lonsdale pools, please visit www.lsst.org.uk or telephone Lonsdale on 01332 516325 and Gayton pool on 01332 773755.