Cumberland pulls Maryport swimming pool project
Plans to revamp an underperforming leisure facility have been abandoned by the council due to increasing construction and energy costs.
The reconfiguration of The Wave Centre off Irish Street in Maryport to add a swimming pool had been one of the main projects in the community’s successful £11.5m Future High Streets Fund award in 2021.
The pool project had a budget of £5.2m in 2021. As of March 2023, the estimated build costs had risen to £5.6m.
Adding to concerns was the fact the Cumberland Council was told potential costs for the building could reach £500,000 a year.
These two stats led the council to shelve its plans for the pool.
“Councillors felt that the council simply cannot afford to commit large amounts of revenue funding for a pool [that] may never be financially sustainable,” said a Cumberland Council spokesperson.
“In addition to subsidising the increasing build costs, this project will not be viable because of the funds required to operate it. We are, sadly, not alone in this – swimming pools are closing across the UK for the very same reasons.”
Cumberland Council has informed the Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities of its decision to scrap the pool project. The local authority hopes the government department will allow it to spend the money allocated for that project on other schemes.
The council said it would focus on creating “new, ambitious, and exciting alternatives for Mayport, in addition to the great work taking place there already”.
“The alternative won’t be a swimming pool but we are confident that we can make something that will be appealing to local people and visitors alike,” the council spokesperson said.
“We are absolutely committed to continuing to invest in Maryport and will be talking to the community at the earliest opportunity.”