Cash shortage shuts pool at Leicestershire school
School governors have been forced to close a swimming pool after inspectors found its boilers were not safe.
The pool at Longslade Community College, in Wanlip Lane, Birstall, was shut last week after a routine inspection revealed it would cost about £250,000 to bring it up to a safe standard.
Head of governors Tony Stott said they had no choice but to shut the pool, which is in school grounds but is also used by the community.
He said: "The boilers are no longer safe, and the replacement of them would be very expensive. We had no choice. It is a shame and we are sorry about it, but it had come to the end of its useful life.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"We went to a lot of effort to keep it open, but we could not any longer."
Mr Stott said that because the pool is on school grounds, the governors were responsible for maintaining it, but were unable to use school cash to do so.
The pool was paid for through entrance fees.
Mr Stott said they had looked at funding over the years, but had not been successful.
He said: "We are unable to use school cash, and personally, when you are taking about quarter of a million pounds, I think there are other areas it would be spent on anyway.
"We have approached the council over the years, but it is very clear that they have no money."
The college did not respond to the Leicester Mercury's request for comment.
However, a statement on its website said: "With great sadness, the governing body of Longslade Community College has reluctantly agreed to close Birstall pool due to financial reasons and consistent maintenance problems that can no longer be sustained."
The pool did run community sessions including children's swimming lessons.
Mr Stott said he expected parents who had paid for swimming lessons in advance would be refunded.
Nichola Raven, of Birstall, said her seven-year-old son Finley was upset his lessons had been cancelled.
Nichola, 32, had paid about £35 for lessons until the end of term in July.
"Finley was really upset, and I don't think he really understands properly," she said. "He had only had a few lessons but he was really coming along very well, and his water confidence had improved a lot.
"We found out about the closure through a letter from the college. What maddens me most is that I think they probably knew last time we were there – I wish they had just told us instead of waiting until the last minute."
A spokeswoman for Leicestershire County Council said the authority could not comment on the boiler issue. The decision to close it was taken entirely by the governors.