Campaigners trying to save a much-loved community swimming pool say they will spend this week “weighing up all the options” before deciding their next move.
While the future of Eastbourne’s iconic bandstand remains in doubt and its doors closed, the pool in Motcombe Road is also under threat, having sat neglected for almost two years.
Conservative councillors in Eastbourne are appalled at the decay of these seaside assets. “Motcombe Pool should have reopened when the rest of the leisure facilities did at the end of the pandemic’s restrictions”, said Conservative group leader Cllr Robert Smart. “Not only have residents lost a pool, but a hub of the local Old Town community.”
A campaign group has been established, Friends of Motcombe Pool, to press the council for a clear plan for the repairs and a reopening date. But campaigners say they are disappointed that, instead of committing to refurbishment, the council looks to the community for essential funding.
“The recent meeting of Full Council brought home the reality of the sorry situation regarding the continued closure of the pool, and the council’s failure to manage its finances and prioritise making funds available to repair and reopen this essential community asset, particularly for the residents of Old Town and Upperton,” said Heidi Emery, Joint Acting Chair of The Friends of Motcombe Pool.
“The council has failed the local community at a time when meeting people’s physical and mental health should have been a priority as we move away from the restrictions of the pandemic over the last year”, she added.
“The council is very keen to hand over the responsibility to the community to fund, so sadly it won’t be open anytime soon! We will look at all the options, going forward, in order to have the right conversations with the council.”
The group has a Facebook page and welcomes new members.