Council Agrees Study Into New Carn Gwaval Pool

Health and Wellbeing Centre at Carn Gwaval

Health and Wellbeing Centre at Carn Gwaval

The Council has agreed to run a feasibility study into building a new pool at the Carn Gwaval site.

And we could see a roller disco or a climbing wall at the Sports Hall to improve income there.

A new pool was one of the suggestions in the Ash Futures Economic Strategy, published last year.

Senior Manager for Community Services Aisling Hick told members of last week’s Community Services Committee meeting that a new pool could be longer than the current one at Normandy, and would be more of a visitor attraction, particularly if it was closer to Hugh Town.

But she said funding the cost of the project, likely to be somewhere between £1m and £1.5m couldn’t fall solely on the Council.

It would need to be a partnership with the community and tourism providers, with extra funding obtained from the National Lottery or through borrowing.

Committee Chairman Richard McCarthy sounded a note of caution, saying municipal pools had been “notoriously difficult” to fund in the past.

During the planning stages of new school at Carn Gwaval, there were calls for a pool to be included in the designs.

But at the time, the Council Chief Executive Philip Hygate gave examples of how local authority-run pools were often unviable and a drain on resources.

Members eventually decided to focus on improving and covering the Normandy pool, using grants from the government and the Local Action Group.

The upgraded pool opened its doors in August 2010.

Aisling told councillors that some islanders “get grumpy” about why the pool is located at Normandy.

She said it was because the council already had a pool there and could obtain grants to improve it.

“Lots of people were really anti that,” said Aisling, adding that the pool had now demonstrated its value to the community.

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