Debenham: Village’s bid for swimming pool at Sir Robert Hitcham School

A VILLAGE is striving to raise �200,000 to pay for a swimming pool to be built at a primary school.

The proposed pool at Sir Robert Hitcham School in Debenham would be used by students and the wider community.

The Debenham Community Swimming Pool committee has applied to Sport England for �100,000 of grant funding.

The application also includes plans to build a new classroom and a sensory room at the school.

Committee chairman Sacha Feeney-Howells said: “The pool will be open to the community, which is good for everyone. The building project would not take longer than six months and we will carry on with the fundraising.

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“I am absolutely confident we are going to raise the money.

“We’ve got to keep positive, we have had overwhelming support for the project from the community.”

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To be eligible for the Sport England funding the committee will have to match the �100,000 figure with other funds.

Suffolk County Council has already backed the project with a �22,500 grant.

The plan is to build an enclosed outdoor heated swimming pool which can be used all year-round by the community.

The existing school pool, which was built in the 1950s, will be turned into the sensory room.

The new pool will be larger than the existing one, measuring 18 metres by six metres, which would enable a whole class of students to use the facility at the same time.

Other local schools would also be able to use the facility.

The committee has organised a fundraising music festival event for the project called ‘Rocktober’.

“We are sorting out the playlist now,” Mrs Feeney-Howells said. “We have 10 acts all playing for free and they are all local bands.

“They are proper acts that have all gigged. There will be food and a bar all evening as well.”

The 10-hour music marathon will take place at Debenham High School between noon and 10pm on Saturday, October 13.

Admission for adults costs �5 and children’s tickets cost �2.50. Tickets can be obtained by phoning 01728 860858/861211 or visiting

Mrs Feeney-Howells said the committee was also planning a 5k and 10k race next year to help raise funds.

The proposed pool opening times would be Monday-Friday 7.30am-9pm, Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 9am-5pm.

Public swimming pool facilities are available in Stradbroke, Diss, Stowmarket and Ipswich but are all between 10 and 15 miles away.

A letter sent to primary school parents about the need for a new swimming pool in Debenham established that more than 90% of people were in favour of the idea.

The new classroom would be a timber-framed log cabin-style building which could support up to 32 students.

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