New plan for The Wave in Maryport

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Members of Cumberland Council's Executive have reluctantly decided to shelve plans for a swimming pool in Maryport as operational costs have spiralled to unaffordable levels.

There have been major concerns about the cost of building a pool at The Wave Centre for some time as construction costs rose dramatically and energy prices also increased. At a meeting this week [Tuesday 25 April 2023], councillors said they were left with no option but to come up with a Plan B as they were warned potential subsidies for the building could reach half a million pounds per year.

Meetings will now take place with the community to design a new attraction which will both benefit the local residents and appeal to the town’s visitors too. The majority of the money for the swimming pool was coming from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

A spokesperson for Cumberland Council, said: “We realise this is hugely disappointing news for the people of Maryport who were keen to see this new facility at The Wave.

“Councillors felt that the Council simply cannot afford to commit large amounts of revenue funding for a pool which may never be financially sustainable. In addition to subsidising the increasing build costs, this project will not be viable because of the funds required to operate it. We are, sadly, not alone in this – swimming pools are closing across the UK for the very same reasons.

“To put the numbers into context, existing subsidies plus what it could cost going forward with a swimming pool, means that Councillors felt they were unable to justify potentially spending close to half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money every year at this moment in time, and they were not prepared to reduce other vital public services to meet the heating and operating costs.

“In terms of the build, our teams, and our leisure partner Better, have tried to combat the rising costs of construction materials and energy prices by retendering and recosting every aspect of this project but we simply cannot make opening this expensive new facility affordable at this time.

“The team will now put all their energy into creating new, ambitious and exciting alternatives for Maryport, in addition to the great work taking place there already. The alternative won’t be a swimming pool but we are confident that we can make something that will be appealing to local people and visitors alike. We are absolutely committed to continuing to invest in Maryport and will be talking to the community at the earliest opportunity. Please get involved and give us your feedback".