Ilford town centre pool still a reality - council leader

Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council

Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council - Credit: Archant

Plans to build a new town centre swimming pool could be drawn up in the next two to three years to help meet demand.

A report by Sport England states that lottery funding could be made available for a leisure complex as part of a major regeneration scheme which would also include shops and houses.

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal said a swimming pool in Ilford town centre was part of a wider “aspiration” for the borough.

In December the council announced plans to build a £4m public pool at Mayfield School in Pedley Road, Goodmayes, while a refurbishment of the pool at Loxford School of Science and Technology is expected to start this month.

The pool at Ilford County High School was also opened for swimming lessons in April following an agreement between the school and the council.

The report states that even with these facilities there remains “significant unmet demand”.

Sites in Wanstead and Ashton Playing Fields in Woodford Green have also been considered, but it concluded that a 25-metre pool in a town centre location would “generate the most increased usage” and be able to attract the most funding.

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Members of the health, leisure and older people service committee are due to discuss the report on Monday and allow a design and build contractor to be appointed for work to begin at Mayfield School.

Cllr Jas Athwal said: “When we went to Sport England we went with a plan and it was going to involve low cost solutions such as getting schools to open up their pools to the public.

“We’re delivering what we promised by opening a new pool with the plans at Mayfield and will be going even further to make sure a town centre pool is part of a bigger scheme.

“We are working incredibly hard with Sport England to make sure this becomes a reality.”

Cllr Athwal said the ultimate aim is to have pools in all corners of the borough including one in the Wanstead and Woodford area.

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