Hastings school’s pool closes after more than 50 years

Charlie Lindsay
Charlie Lindsay

A school’s swimming pool has had to be knocked down after more than 50 years.

For many years, parents and the community at Sandown School, on The Ridge, have worked hard to keep the pool open, raising money.

But the building was recently deemed unsafe for use and was knocked down last week.

Debbie Ramsey, from the school’s PTA, said: “Its a devastating blow for the community. Parents, carers and businesses tried so hard to raise the money needed to keep the pool open, but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. Swimming is such an important lesson for children to learn, especially in a seaside town. It’s very sad.”

However, the school hopes to build a bigger pool.

Charlie Lindsay, headteacher, said: “It is with great sadness that Sandown School has had its swimming pool demolished after many years of providing quality swimming to its local community. A structural survey had shown the swimming pool building was unsafe and required immediate closure.

“The community has been immense over the years and provided financial support in recent years for roof repairs and new liners.”

He added there is £20,000 in the school’s PTA fund which has been ring-fenced to help with Sandown’s potential new pool bid.

Mr Lindsay said: “The school and community have not given up as swimming is a vital skill and water space is really needed in our area.

“Sandown and the Big Local North East Hastings appointed FMG Consulting ans GT3 Architects to undertake a feasibility study to determine the future provision of the pool on the school site. To be successful in any bids the pool must meet the needs of the community.

“The most likely option is a four-lane, 25m pool that also includes wet changing room and outdoor changing rooms. The initial estimated costs of this is around £1.7m. Obviously this needs a high level of investment and the project team recently met with the borough council, which was sympathetic and supportive.

“Our next step is to find significant investment for this project and we will be meeting with the local authority and Sport England to explore ways forward.”

Any investors who would like to be involved can ring Mr Lindsay on 01424 436983.

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