Campaign launched to save Beyton outdoor community pool from closure after 50 years

The Beyton Swimming Gala in 1988 at the Beyton outdoor pool which is under threat of closure

The Beyton Swimming Gala in 1988 at the Beyton outdoor pool which is under threat of closure - Credit: Archant

A popular outdoor swimming pool in west Suffolk is at risk of closing for good if around £50,000 is not raised to bring the nearly 50-year-old community pool back into use.

The pool, at the former Beyton Middle School site near Bury St Edmunds, now a sixth-form campus, needs repair work on the heating system after it failed last year.

Dug and built by parents of pupils at the school, the 25m-long community pool opened 47 years ago and has been in use ever since.

However, with the school closing down in July 2014 and Thurston Community College taking over the site, the pool does not have enough users to foot the repair bill.

Yesterday the Beyton Swimming Club announced it has joined forces with Thurston Community College to save the pool.


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“We would really like to see the pool used by both students and the community,” said Helen Wilson, Thurston headteacher.

“But as our secondary school curriculum doesn’t include swimming lessons, there’s a limit to how much we can invest.”

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If the pool is saved the swimming club would take over running the facility and open it up to interested groups, schools and residents.

Steve Chubb, club chairman, said: “The college are doing all they can to help, but we need to replace the heating system and run the pool in the future. It’s a mammoth job and we’re appealing for help.”

Open-air swimming pools in Suffolk have had mixed fortunes recently. Broomhill Pool, Ipswich’s Grade II-listed lido and closed since 2002, has just been awarded £180,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and its future is now looking up. Halesworth Pool closed in 2009, but Beccles Lido has been rescued.

Former Time Team archeologist Helen Geake, a club member, said: “Beyton pool could be used much more than it has been in the past, and could become a real community hub for the whole area. But saving a swimming pool isn’t an easy job; we will have to learn how to fundraise, run a campaign and a business, as well as all the day-to-day swimming pool activities.”

The group is appealing for volunteers, especially those with the skills to help fundraise and apply for grants. If you can help contact Mr Chubb on spchubb@btinternet.com or Ms Geake on hg260@cam.ac.uk

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