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Council unveils huge swimming complex plan

Derby City Council has unveiled plans for a £35 million swimming complex that will enable the city to host major regional competitions.

The complex will include a ten-lane pool, a teaching pool and a water play area, supplemented by other facilities such as a cafe, a soft play area for children, treatment rooms and a large gym. There will be spectator facilities for 400 people, a key feature for competitions. 

Councillors are aiming to see the development at the Moorways site completed by 2020, with the scheme ensuring plenty of construction jobs are created. Among these will be wet room waterproofing fitters, as the city gets what will be its finest aquatic facility.

A swimming pool already exists at Moorways, but the new development would mean replacing the modest existing facility with the new state-of-the-art arena. The 50-metre pool would be of Olympic size, meaning it is ideal for any elite-level swimmers to train with. At the same time, moveable booms can be used to split it into smaller segments when the length needs to be reduced or it is simply being used for leisure.

The councillor in charge of the project, Baggy Shankar, said this week: "While we want Moorways to include all the amenities you would expect from a modern facility, we also want it to be visually appealing. Our designs have a particular focus on natural light, with large windows offering great views both inside the main pool halls and of the surrounding landscape.

"What is more, I believe the ultra-modern, metallic design is befitting of the site's location on the edge of the Rolls-Royce campus, reflecting the hi-tech manufacturing that our city is known for."

He said the next stage is to gauge public opinion on the plan and called for local residents to respond by expressing their views on the scheme, whether they are people who have swum at Moorways before or people who might become interested in the event of a new facility being created. 

Mr Shankar concluded: "Together, we can fine-tune our proposals to ensure a strong future for swimming in the city."

Swimming is among the sports that many local authorities have been including in their plans to encourage better fitness among their residents in recent years. Improved facilities have also enabled those who are able to compete at a high level to enjoy better facilities, with Great Britain enjoying vastly improved levels of success in major international competitions as a result. 

Some places have gained superb pool facilities as a result of hosting major international competitions, such as London after the 2012 Olympics, Manchester after the 2002 Commonwealth Games or Glasgow after the 2014 Games. 

The West Midlands could be next in line to get a modern new swimming facility after the government confirmed it is backing Birmingham to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

It is bidding to take the place of the original host city of Durban, which pulled out due to a cash crisis, and has already seen off competition from Liverpool to bid on behalf of the UK. 

Rival bids had been expected from Canada, Malaysia and possibly Australia, but no others have yet been confirmed, which could mean the city ends up being the sole bidder. 

If the Games are awarded to Birmingham, a new aquatics centre will be built in nearby Wolverhampton, providing a major legacy facility for the Black Country.