Gosport school pool is saved - but more money needed to keep it afloat

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THE battle to save a school swimming pool from closure may have been won, but work still needs to be done to preserve it for the future.

That is the message coming from Leesland Junior School in Gosport, which has been fundraising to save its pool.

Kate Hedges on the edge of the swimming pool at Leesland Junior School, Gosport. Picture: David George

Kate Hedges on the edge of the swimming pool at Leesland Junior School, Gosport. Picture: David George

The pool, which is used by schools across the town on a daily basis, was in need of a new roof, costing £68,000 – without which the pool could not be operated.

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But following the installation of this new roof, the race is on to raise money for other crucial repairs that will keep the pool afloat for the years ahead.

Leesland’s business manager Kate Hedges said: ‘Once the roof was paid for we also needed new front doors, which were £1,850 – and then the boiler broke; a replacement for that set us back another £6,750.

‘The problem is that even though we’ve saved the pool, there’s always another project to fundraise for.

‘For example, we need to buy new pool covers and refurbish the changing rooms, which will cost us another £21,000 overall.’

Built in 1972, the pool has been a valuable community facility for decades.

The school has been fundraising since April 2015, with Hampshire County Council’s condition survey estimating that the project will cost up to £250,000 overall.

Proceeds from mufti days, Christmas raffles and more have all been put towards the pool, but Mrs Hedges says they cannot purely rely on the generosity of parents.

‘It’s not fair to keep going to them asking for money,’ she said.

‘For the future of this swimming pool we need either the support of local businesses, or additional funding from grants.

‘If anyone is able to sponsor us or help in any way, it would be amazing.

‘This pool is used every day and sees around 800 swims per week – it’s the only pool suitable for primary school children in Gosport, so if it disappeared it would be a tremendous loss for the town.’

Anyone who can help with funding for the pool can email k.dowell@leeslandschools-fed.co.uk.