Assets could be sold to fund new pool
A LISTED building and land could be sold to help to pay for a new multi-million pound swimming pool for Hadleigh.Council officers looking for a breakthrough in solving the problem of replacing the outdated 36-year-old pool are recommending that assets should be sold in Hadleigh.
By Richard Smith
A LISTED building and land could be sold to help to pay for a new multi-million pound swimming pool for Hadleigh.
Council officers looking for a breakthrough in solving the problem of replacing the outdated 36-year-old pool are recommending that assets should be sold in Hadleigh.
They want to sell land providing access to the proposed superstore site at Brett Works, and to sell East House, a Grade II* listed building let to the county council.
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The county council has already announced that it no longer needs the building and it can not afford to support community groups using the facility. The county council is ending the lease on March 31.
Babergh District Council has earmarked £30,000 for a feasibility study for a new pool but it only wants to spend the money if there is a realistic prospect of raising the estimated £3.25m for a new pool.
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Public consultation last year revealed that there were mixed views on the possibility of increasing the council tax to pay for the pool and therefore officers are looking for alternative money-raising schemes.
Mike Hammond, corporate director, says in a report to Babergh District Council's strategy committee, due to be heard on February 9: “The support of Hadleigh Town Council in raising a contribution of £29,000 is welcome.
“Unfortunately, in the absence of any other external funding from government or other sources and in the absence of generating additional income from charging for the use of council assets, the only available source of funding is the difficult and contentious issue of asset sales.
“The proposed sale of assets will generate capital receipts which could make a substantial contribution to the capital cost of a new swimming pool for Hadleigh and reduce future borrowing for any such pool, which would otherwise have to be borne by the council taxpayer.
“Whilst the total value of these receipts would not fund the total cost of a new pool, they would make a substantial contribution to the cost.”
The current five-lane pool was built at a cost of £65,000 and since 1986 the district council has invested £550,000 of capital expenditure, given grants and paid for revenue maintenance costs.
Mr Hammond added: “Any substantial level of investment in the facility would have to be weighed against the fact that much of the pool's fabric and equipment is life expired, and there are concerns regarding the structural integrity of the pool tank.”