Money the kingmaker in Redbridge College relocation plan

�Money is the key to whether Redbridge College will relocate and pave the way for a new swimming pool,

As the Recorder revealed in September, college and Redbridge Council bosses have held high-level talks about building on the site of the former lorry park in High Road, Seven Kings.

The development would include a new campus for Redbridge College, which currently occupies a site in Barley Lane, Little Heath, as well as a leisure facility including a swimming pool.

The south of the borough has been without a swimming pool since Ilford Baths, High Road, Ilford, closed in September 2008 because of safety issues with the building.

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince has told the Recorder talks are “ongoing”, but said college bosses were working out what their existing campus would be worth if sold, and if that figure would make relocating viable.

He added: “We can do a deal with them that delivers all the things we would look to deliver.

“We’d be mad not to snap up the opportunity.”

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The college itself has remained tight-lipped this week about the possibility of relocating.

But a spokesman said a move to the former lorry park was “one of a number of options the college is looking at” with regard to its future.

The existing college site could be sold for housing or make way for a new school under previously released plans.

According to a council study last year, it would cost �20.4million and take 36 months to build on the former lorry park land.

College chiefs have said relocating would give it better transport links.

But campaigners for a new swimming pool have raised concerns.

Redbridge Swimmers’ Association chairman John Sharrock claimed the site was “too small”.

He added: “I’m 75, and I don’t think I will be alive when a new pool opens.

“I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic.”

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