Shropshire Council

Project updates

On 13 February 2019, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed that the existing Quarry site is the most suitable town centre location for swimming provision, and authorised council officers to investigate the potential to develop new swimming provision on the site.

As this work progresses updates will be added to this page.

Update - May 2019

On 13 February 2019, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed that the existing Quarry site is the most suitable town centre location for swimming provision, and authorised council officers to investigate the potential to develop new swimming provision on the site.

They also agreed to undertake a full feasibility study which will be carried out between spring and autumn 2019. We’re asking key stakeholders including leisure and health specialists to advise on the exact nature of swimming provision required for the long-term health and wellbeing needs of the Shrewsbury and wider Shropshire population. We will also draw up concept designs to show how the new facilities might look.

Conscious that the redevelopment of the Quarry Pool site will take some years to complete, we will be exploring options to ensure continuity of swimming provision as part of these proposals.

A rebuild will provide new and modern facilities offering a better customer experience, the potential to reduce operational costs given a modern design and energy efficient installations and opportunities to maximise income generation through provision of additional facilities such as an improved food and beverage offering. In planning terms this option is deliverable, and coupled with enhanced fitness provision will increase usage and visitor numbers.

A complete rebuild on the existing site will provide the potential to explore options across a larger footprint as well as the opportunity to integrate other uses over and above leisure and culture, such as office, community and education uses. It is important that these are considered within the framework of the recently approved Shrewsbury Big Town Plan.

A building condition survey carried out at the Quarry Pool in November 2018 has concluded that the building is effectively at the end of its serviceable life. However, there are no major issues with the areas of the facility that are currently available to users, meaning that no immediate work Is required.

As this work progresses updates will be added to this page.

Update - June 2019

The feasibility study work is continuing, and this includes conversations with Sport England, Shrewsbury Town Council and other key stakeholders, including health and leisure experts. We are currently looking at, and arranging visits to, a number of other new pools in different part of the country, to see what lessons can be learned and what good practice can be shared.

Once the objectives, facilities mix and market demand for the Quarry Pool have been established we will be able to confirm whether a refurbishment or rebuild is the best option.

A report will then go to Cabinet in the autumn that outlines the feasibility work undertaken to date, and asks them to agree the recommended option.

Update - August 2019

The feasibility study work is continuing, and this includes conversations with Sport England, Shrewsbury Town Council and other key stakeholders, including health and leisure experts. As part of this work we have now looked at, and visited, a number of other new pools in different part of the country, to see what lessons can be learned and what good practice can be shared.

Once the objectives, facilities mix and market demand for the Quarry Pool have been established, the options for how we can best deliver this, and the likely costs, will be set out.

A report is then due to go to Cabinet in the autumn that outlines the feasibility work undertaken to date, with a recommendation for consideration and discussion.

Update - November 2019

Further to our positive discussions with them, Sport England have been funding a feasibility study into the delivery of swimming in Shrewsbury and the optimum facilities mix required. Key considerations as part of this have been to ensure that we respond to demand and the wider strategic objectives for increasing participation in physical activity, leisure, health and wellbeing, and to support delivery of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan. This has been an important step in the project and a draft report is due in mid-December.

In parallel to this, due diligence related to conditions and constraints has been undertaken on the Quarry site, and we're now commissioning high level ‘massing’ exercises to look at the best fit for a new development. This will be complete by the end of December.

Progress is in line with our anticipated programme, which takes account of the complex nature of the site, the diverse needs of the various stakeholders and the need to provide continuity of service.

All of the current activity follows cabinet’s decision in February 2019 to undertake this work on the Quarry site.

A report with a recommended scheme is set to go to cabinet in February 2020.

Update - February 2020

On Wednesday 12 February, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet will be asked to agree that two options for future swimming provision in Shrewsbury are taken forward for a full feasibility study and design – before a final recommended option is agreed.

The options are, to deliver all swimming provision at the Quarry, as well as some additional health and wellbeing facilities, and to deliver swimming provision in Shrewsbury over a split site, with a health, leisure and wellbeing centre on the Quarry site and a competition pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village.

They are being proposed following a detailed study carried out and funded by Sport England into the optimum facilities mix required to meet the long-term health and wellbeing of the Shrewsbury and wider Shropshire population.

Two other options – to do nothing, and to replace the existing facility like for like – have both been ruled out.

Cabinet will be asked to allow council officers to provide a report at a future Cabinet highlighting final recommendations on the preferred option, with outline design and costs, the outcome of any consultation and a recommended procurement route.

We need to look at both options in more detail to understand their relative costs, their ability to generate income for the council – and to reduce our current subsidy.

Once officers have carried out the due diligence work on both of these options, Cabinet can be asked to consider and agree a recommended final option. We hope this will be before the end of this year.

Subject to Cabinet approval, work on the detailed feasibility into the deliverability and affordability of the two options will be carried out over the next few months. This will involve site due diligence, outline designs and cost schedules for both options.

A review into the impact of putting the competition pool at the Sports village will be undertaken immediately.

The involvement of Sport England in the next stages will be key alongside other stakeholders including Energize and Swim England, interest groups, and the facility operator.

Further information about the Sport England study

Strategic Leisure were appointed by Sport England and have worked on the insight and feasibility for the last nine months. This included discussions with key stakeholders, in order to establish their priorities, establishing the shared strategic objectives, researching the wider health fitness and wellbeing needs of the people of Shropshire and Shrewsbury and an options appraisal.

The facilities mix proposed, based on the outcomes of the study, explores not only swimming for fitness and leisure, but also wider health and wellbeing activities, a spa and an improved food offering and linking with health partners to deliver complimentary health services and social prescribing.

It also has the potential to create a town centre destination for leisure in support of the Big Town Plan.

View the agenda for the 12 February 2020 Cabinet meeting