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No States funding for swimming pool

Posted Mon 11th February 2013 at 11:23

The new Policy Committee has rejected a funding request for a new island swimming pool.

The Alderney Community Centre and Sports Centre Trustees drew up plans to convert the existing shallow outdoor pool at St Anne's School into a 25m pool and small gym.

Maintenance costs would be met by Guernsey's Education Department.

The Trust then drew up a business plan requesting a maximum of £400,000 to cover capital costs and a further £12,500 to match Guernsey Education Department's contribution towards annual running costs.

But at the 29th January Policy Committee meeting members decided they could not currently support the funding request.

The proposal had already received Guernsey Education Department's verbal agreement to help with running costs, as well as strong backing from St Anne's headmaster Michael Gaunt, and the Alderney Parent Teacher Association. Numerous individuals and local businesses had come forward to offer financial or professional support and it was intended that building should begin later this year, after the end of the summer term. Alderney Community and Sports Centre, the charitable trust who are overseeing the project, also agreed to contribute a further £100,000.

The Trust is now going to look again at its business plan.

Paul Arditti, Chairman of the Policy Committee, said: 'While a new centre would be welcome in Alderney for residents and visitors alike, the Committee believes the request for funding is beyond our means at this time. The capital funding for this project was always dependant on the sale of Fort Tourgis, and that looks unlikely in the near term, and the States has always been against using tax payers; money to support the running costs of the centre.;

Finance Committee chairman, Robert McDowall said he considered some of the figures and assumptions put forward were 'hesitant'. He said activities like accounting could not be done on a voluntary basis, as the plan had suggestedBDCC Chairman Francis Simonet said he remained convinced that Guernsey Education Department should fully fund a fit-for-purpose school swimming pool.

Mr Wedd said the Trust would meet again in March to discuss the most positive way forward.

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