If not now, then when: 24 years on and still no new pool for Hythe

They have been looking for a site for a new swimming pool/leisure centre for Hythe for the last 24 years.

Since 1999, when former Cllr Rory Love (pictured) was the leader of the Council, they have looked for a site. They’ve looked at South Rd sports ground, the current Hythe swimming pool site, Martello Lakes, Hythe Green and other sites, all to no avail.

In the pursuit for a suitable site for a new pool/leisure centre it has cost money, exactly how much is hard to tell, but from what information we can garner from publicly available sources still in existence, it is beyond £8.5m, and that’s before we add in the £5m spent on Princes Parade. 

The project to find a new site for a swimming pool/leisure centre is an ongoing financial albatross around the neck of Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

The last site to be chosen, Princes Parade; which has now been  scrapped, a new site for a new pool must still be found, as Hythe Swimming Pool (HSP) has long passed its use by date.

Opened in 1975, HSP is a copy of the pool used at the Benenden School, at the time. It is almost 50 years old and has become a financial albatross for both the council, and the rate payer.

In Report Number C/08/25 it states: 

The two principle indoor sports facilities in Shepway are the Folkestone Sports Centre and Hythe Swimming Pool. Both these facilities are in a poor condition and require either replacement or refurbishment. The District Council has been actively involved in trying to put in place a replacement/refurbishment scheme for these centres since 1999.

In the 2019, Princes Parade Leisure Centre Business Case, at page 7, makes clear Hythe Swimming Pool makes a substantial loss. This can be seen in the figures pictured.

The data for 2014-15 and 2017-18 financial years had to be used because these are the two data sets which give full-year trading data, due to closures in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 periods. 

It’s clear then Hythe Swimming Pool is a financial burden on Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s limited financial resources. The Council has a deficit of £16.5m over the next four years, and a new site for a new pool/leisure will only add to the financial pressures already in existence.

So where do the new Green led administration put a new swimming pool for Hythe?

The longer any decision is delayed as to where a new pool for Hythe will go, the more district ratepayers will be paying out more for an already costly albatross. So we ask the new Green Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Cllr Jim Martin (pictured):

How much will it cost to unpick Princes Parade?

Where will the new pool for Hythe be situated?

When will it be delivered?

How much it will cost? 

How much has the current pool costs ratepayers, given it was not fit for purpose back in 2008?

It is incumbent of the new administration to inform the people of Hythe when they’ll get a new pool. And it is fiscally imperative upon them to inform the the 40,000 plus Council Tax payers of the district, how much they will have to pay for this ongoing financial albatross, and how much any new pool might cost as well.

Let’s hope they do this sooner rather than later.

The Shepway Vox Team

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Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

5 Comments on If not now, then when: 24 years on and still no new pool for Hythe

  1. Well it will not be built anywhere near their properties in Hythe.

  2. Not everyone can afford membership to private leisure facilities and public swimming is an absolute ’must’ for residents and children. Swimming clubs are a marvellous asset to any town.

  3. Valid points but perhaps somewhat hasty as we are only a few weeks after the election. Swimming pools and leisure activities are important but maybe their are other even more pressing problems.

  4. Well it will not be built anywhere near their properties in Hythe.

  5. But is a swimming pool actually essential? With 20+ miles of coastline is it a priority?

    I believe that a fitness centre would be cheaper to deliver, cheaper to operate, would be more environmentally friendly, and would meet health objectives better than a swimming pool.

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