Debenham Pool team must raise £170,000 by May to keep dreams afloat

A drawing of the proposed Debenham Community Swimming Pool

A drawing of the proposed Debenham Community Swimming Pool - Credit: Archant

The organisers behind an ambitious project to bring a swimming pool to a Suffolk village have been given more time to raise funds to help make their dream a reality.

The current swimming pool in Debenham, which as been out of use since 2012.

The current swimming pool in Debenham, which as been out of use since 2012. - Credit: Archant

The team behind the Debenham Community Swimming Pool Project originally needed to have raised £400,000 for the project before the deadline of January 2016 to lock in grants, including £109,000 from Sport England’s ‘Inspired Fund’.

Sport England, however, has announced the project now has until May 3 to raise the required cash, after supporter of the project, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter, wrote to the organisation for an extension.

So far £230,000 has been raised. The pool, scheduled to be built on the playing fields of Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School, will be big enough for 30 swimmers and will have its own changing facilities.

The project has also been supported by Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Debenham Parish Council.

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In November, it was announced that Sporting Assets, a not-for-profit organisation, would help assist the project in achieving its goal.

Dr Poulter said: “The pool will be a fantastic community facility if built.

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“It will help a lot of young people maintain a healthy lifestyle. The extension gives the community the opportunity to come together and hopefully raise the remaining money required.

“It’s nice to have a direct input into helping keep the project going – without the money from Sport England the pool won’t be built. I’m very grateful they agreed to my request.”

Chair of the project, Sacha Feeney-Howells, said the news was a morale booster, but said new ideas were needed to help reach the £400,000 target.

She added: “It gives us a little bit more time to find that money. We’re hoping Sporting Assets can help us – we still need help to find some more money and we need some new ideas and new funding.

“It also gives us a little bit more credibility because Sport England has done so much to help us. It shows that it must be a worthwhile project.”

For more information on the project, and to donate, visit

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