Opening hours set to be cut at Sheffield pools

Heeley Swimming Pool,Broadfield Road,Heeley
Heeley Swimming Pool,Broadfield Road,Heeley
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TWO Sheffield swimming pools are set to have their hours reduced - and one site may be closed to the public at weekends.

Sheffield International Venues is consulting users about the changes at Heeley Baths, on Broadfield Road, and the pool at the Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, Norton.

The organisation said it has no choice due to a 40 per cent cut in its council funding.

One user said: “Heeley pool have a notice up saying they are going to shut to the public at weekends - when that is the most convenient time for many people.

“It means you won’t be able to turn up and swim there any more at weekends. Only private bookings and swimming lessons will take place.”

Graves Park Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Auckland said: “I think the pool at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre is a very important local facility and one that we’ve fought hard over the years to preserve.

“Only recently we had the news the centre is to be refurbished using some of £10 million to create a national centre for sports medicine in Sheffield.

“This news is a backwards step which I would oppose.”

Lorenzo Clark, director of operations at Sheffield International Venues, which operates both pools on behalf of the council, said: “As part of a wide evaluation of our activity programme across all venues, we are currently carrying out a review of swimming timetables at Heeley Swimming Pool and Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre.

“We would like to reassure everyone that any proposed alterations to public swimming sessions will be subject to a period of consultation with employees and customers and no decisions will be made until this consultation period is over.

“Over the next three years we are facing a 40 per cent reduction in our funding from the city council and we have to make savings across the company.”

Mr Clark added: “We are committed to the continued operation of both Heeley and Graves, but we must take appropriate steps to reduce the levels of subsidy required to operate these facilities and work within the budgetary levels that the current financial challenge dictates.

“The proposed alterations would also continue to provide our customers the opportunity to participate in general swimming sessions across the two venues, seven days a week.

“We are dedicated to the provision of sport and physical activity across all our venues for the benefit of the health of Sheffield residents and we will ensure this, as ever, remains a priority.

■ Save Stocksbridge Leisure Centre group are today due to present a petition at Sheffield Town Hall at 1pm against the possible closure of the facility to save the council £400,000 a year in subsidy.

What do you think about the reduced swimming pool hours?