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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A new era for swimming in Hyde and Tameside

Thursday, 29 July 2021

A big splash has come to Tameside. Last Thursday I had the pleasure of officially celebrating the completion of the new state-of-the-art swimming pool at Active Hyde before it opened its doors to the public on 24 July.

The centrepiece of the new leisure facility, built on land at the rear of Active Hyde on Walker Lane, is the six-lane, 25 metre pool with accompanying amenities such as a dedicated changing village, poolside spectator seating and fully disabled-accessible facilities throughout. This includes a nationally registered Changing Place room with a hoist, shower bed and moveable sink available for both centre visitors and community use, as well as a poolside hoist, a disabled shower and toilet area and a unisex toilet block. The pool is also linked to the centre’s existing first floor fitness and thermal suites, and its energy supply will be provided by advanced solar panel technology that will save an estimated £40,000 every year on running costs.

Commissioned by the council and managed by Active Tameside, the charitable non-profit trust which runs our borough-wide leisure centres and wellbeing programmes, the pool and its new facilities will allow us to offer swimming lessons for up to 1,100 local children as well as support a full schedule of health and leisure activities such as lane and general swimming, Aqua Fit courses, local school use and club hire. It will also become the new permanent home of Tameside’s historic Dukinfield Marlins Amateur Swimming Club, which has currently been  operating a nomadic existence across pools in Active Tameside’s Ashton, Copley and Denton centres.

The project is part of our ongoing £20 million investment into our leisure offer, and follows up on the great success of the £15 million flagship Tameside Wellness Centre in Denton, which opened its doors in February of last year. The construction work on the pool itself was carried out by HH Smith & Sons – who have previously delivered on a number of successful building programmes in Tameside and beyond including Ashton Old Baths, Gorton Monastery and Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.

I know that some people are likely to question why we chose to make such a financial commitment even as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but the benefits of the new pool, the Denton Wellness Centre and our other related projects are not just financial.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating here; if the benefits of exercise could be put into a drug, every person in the world would be lining up to receive it and every doctor would be falling over themselves to prescribe it. By putting the facilities in place to allow residents of all ages and abilities to get and stay active, we’re giving them the tools they need to take control of their own health. Every person that uses these leisure facilities is a person that may not have to end up visiting a GP or a hospital for an illness or condition, ensuring that they have a longer and better quality of life and saving the NHS valuable time and resources. It’s a win/win situation, and while it’s not often the kind of the benefit that you can track on a balance sheet the impact is undeniable nonetheless.

Our hard working staff at Active Tameside have also been working tirelessly over the past year and a half, even as our leisure facilities were closed due to lockdown, providing lessons and activities both online and offline to local children and families. They also operate important community services such as Fuel 4 Fun to help to tackle social inequalities and holiday hunger among young people and those with special educational needs and disabilities.

So if you get the chance, I would encourage you all to pay the new Hyde pool a visit, with the caveat that you continue to protect yourself and those around you from coronavirus. It is my hope that heath and leisure will continue to be recognised as an essential part of building back a better and fairer society.

Posted by: Executive Leader

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