Community group given opportunity to run Castle Pool

By on 28/05/2014 in News

Birmingham City Council is giving a community group the opportunity to take over a popular swimming pool in Castle Vale.

The Castle Pool Users Group, which represents a number of community groups including Boldmere and Kingsbury swimming clubs, are in talks with the council about running the pool from September 2014.

Last year, due to severe financial pressures – the council needs to make £822m in cuts across the city between 2010 and 2018 – Castle Pool in Farnborough Road was made available for a Community Asset Transfer, and third sector groups were invited to submit expressions of interest to lease this facility.

Boldmere Swimming Club has joined forces with the Castle Pool Users Group to form a ‘not for profit’ consortium capable of taking over the running of the pool, for the benefit of the local community.

The council welcomes this interest and will continue its dialogue with the consortium over the coming weeks, with a view to transferring responsibility for Castle Pool on 1 September 2014.

Councillor Penny Holbrook, Chair of Erdington District Committee, said: “It’s great that the people who use Castle Pool have come together, with a view to ensuring their local community can still access this popular facility.

“While none of us want to the see the council stop delivering services directly, the financial pressures mean the council has to find new ways to make sure residents have the services they need.

“The benefits of Community Asset Transfers are that as well as enabling services to continue, it gives local people – who often have a greater understanding of what’s best for their community – a chance to take charge and make a difference.”

Birmingham City Council is committed to exploring further opportunities and using council assets to form long-term partnerships with suitable third sector organisations.

Nigel Smith, Treasurer of Boldmere Swimming Club, said: “As a consortium, we are looking to run this service without detriment to the council or the local community, which would be the best outcome anyone could wish for, as Castle Pool is both a popular and vital amenity.”

ENDS

Notes to editors: In 2014/15 Erdington District, which covers Castle Vale, has to make savings of £569,000.

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