NEATH Port Talbot Council has recommended that the new Afan Lido leisure facility be rebuilt on the Hollywood Park site, and not in its former location on Aberavon Seafront.
That was just one of the recommendations made in documents released on Friday in preparation for a special cabinet meeting which will decide the future of the Afan Lido.
The meeting, which takes place on Wednesday, follows an extended consultation on the project after a local campaign received significant support from the community, including local sports clubs.
Campaigners had argued that the Council’s proposed six-lane pool would not meet local needs, and also asked that a plan to include the Morrison Road Library and enterprise units in the new centre be scrapped in favour of better leisure facilities.
They wanted an eight-lane pool, spectator facilities and a sports hall big enough to accommodate eight badminton courts, as well as a raft of other measures. Significantly, they had asked that the Lido remain on its original site.
The campaign gathered more than 10,600 signatures on their petition and more than 6,000 members joined their Facebook group.
In the report, leisure bosses have made several concessions to local demand, including providing an eight-lane swimming pool, spectator facilities and removing the enterprise units from their plans.
But, though the Council acknowledged “community desire” for an eight-lane pool, they said many of the other items on the campaign’s “shopping list” were unaffordable.
“The net effect of the campaign proposals is to reduce the budget available by £2 million and increase the capital cost of the project by over £2.5 million,” the report said. “Thus creating a circa £4.5 million plus hole in the finances. In revenue terms, a similar analysis reveals that the additional subsidy required would rise from £350,000 per annum to circa £460,000 per annum.
“Whatever the merits or otherwise of the Campaign proposals, such a gap is simply unaffordable and would prejudice the delivery of the entire project.”
In summary, the report recommends:
- The new Lido be incorporated into the Hollywood Park site
- An eight-lane pool, without a movable boom or movable floor
- A learner pool
- Re-siting four existing facilities within the new Lido (Sandfields Library, Dalton Road Community Centre, Aberavon Community Centre and Seaway Parade Education Centre)
- The campaign’s requests for a teaching pool, hoists for disabled people, aerobic and weight fitness areas, specialist areas for dance and other sports, spectator areas for wet and dry sides, changing rooms, a café with viewing area and car parking all be included in the plans
- The campaign’s requests for the existing Lido site to be used, a pool with a movable floor and boom, a splash area with slide and water features, an eight court sports hall, a dedicated children’s play area, a health suite, storage for temporary event seating, an outdoor all-weather facility with changing facility, safe areas for children outside the Lido all be excluded from the plans due to issues of affordability.
- Removing the proposed Enterprise Units from the plans
The cabinet meets on Wednesday at 9.30am to vote on the recommendations.