Ashton pool will have to be demolished, say town’s MP

ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE’S swimming pool will have to be pulled down and rebuilt after it is shut, says the town’s MP, Angela Rayner.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for the centre to be saved after Active Tameside earmarked it for closure on September 3.

Anger is raging as classes there are set to be switched to other pools in Hyde, Stalybridge, Denton and Droylsden, especially among those who rely on public transport.

To Denton, it would take 20 minutes each way from Ashton bus station – not taking in how long it takes to get from homes to the interchange, a similar length of time to Droylsden, 30 minutes to Copley and to Hyde about 50 minutes each way.

Angela Rayner MP

Tameside Council, which owns the town centre facility, admitted the building was at ‘the end of its life.’

And while she shares the anger and concerns of the people facing a decision whether to make extra journeys or give up swimming, Ms Rayner concedes a total rebuild is needed, meaning a muti-million pound bill.

She told The Correspondent: “Given the age of the pool and the asbestos it is highly likely to contain, a refurbishment is not a viable option and the building would therefore have to be demolished and rebuilt.

“To give an idea of the costs associated with a full rebuild, the Wellness Centre (which began construction in 2017 and took three years to complete) cost £17 million to build.

“The current rate of inflation means this cost would be considerably higher on a project starting today.

Ashton leisure centre, Ashton-under-Lyne

“There is no doubt that this is absolutely devastating news for the community and I completely understand the upset and anger that people are feeling right now.

“This was not a decision that was taken lightly by Active Tameside.

“There are major concerns with the current site, including the pool filtration and heating systems as well as the roof and the tiles.

“The utilities bill alone is approaching £270,000. It simply is not feasible to keep the pool open in its current state.”

Chief concern among many people, including parents of children who are learning or have learned to swim, is how do they get to different pools?

But leisure facilities, including a new pool, will be at the heart of plans to redevelop Ashton.

Ms Rayner added: “I know the closure of the pool will cause massive upheaval and disruption for those that use it regularly but Active Tameside staff assure me that they are working hard to rearrange timetables across their sites to accommodate users and groups at other centres.

“I realise that this won’t be convenient for some people, especially those that rely on public transport, but hopefully the alternative provisions will mean that users don’t have to miss out on their sessions.

“As part of the masterplan for Ashton, discussions are ongoing between the council and partners – including the owners of the two shopping centres – to look at what can be done to redevelop the town centre, including the capacity to bring in new leisure facilities to the centre.”

Once Ashton’s pool closes, it will join the town’s cinema and theatre in standing empty, while plans are ongoing to redevelop the market ground – which many believe is not fit for purpose – and the portion of the bus station that currently stands unused an increasingly overgrown.

And even though Tameside Council received almost £20 million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund, any changes will not be instant.

Ms Rayner continued: “The cost of living crisis has hit everyone hard.

“Energy bills continue to rise and Tameside Council’s funding has been absolutely decimated by the government for the past 13 years.

“The council secured £19.87m in Levelling Up funding and has ambitious plans to transform the town centre, including the market grounds and the land around the bus station.

“But this won’t happen overnight.

“The hard work continues to make Ashton a place for everyone to live, work, and visit.”

9 Replies to “Ashton pool will have to be demolished, say town’s MP”

  1. What a load of rubbish…..why does the market ground need redevelopment, spend it on the kids, ppl will be lost without the pool…tell ya what as the ppl of Tameside what they want for a change, you have no interest in Ashton-under-Lyne anymore…ppl don’t want the market redeveloped, its dead, has been and will always be, if ya keep charging the rents you do…you don’t have a clue what’s going on in your own town….I don’t actually come from here, but I was proud to call it my home, not anymore….you, a labour goverment, for the ppl have slowly wrecked this beautiful old market town…with ya traffic light systems, high rents and inconsiderate towards it residents..

  2. End of its life…. Remind me how long has the colliseam in Rome been up and what about Ashton parish church.Lets face they’re buildings crap

  3. This is disgusting should leave it open for people who have swimming lessons where are all these people going to go after the closure

  4. Asbestos ? Was this pool built around 30 years ago ? Asbestos in pools had been eradicated , this woman is one lying fool. We pay enough in to Tameside to have this pool maintained & kept open .

  5. what a load of shite. omg asbestos? really . thebuilding is not that old . just another shut down to cut costs. are your costs or wages being shut down ? think not . think about the real people please. this is why i choose now to vote some obscure party . who knows? they may actually put people first not money.

  6. I put Angela Rayner to strict proof as to asbestos in Ashton Baths When roof replaced around 2016 this was taken out. If the Council had invested as and when needed we would not be facing closure. Ashton Baths is an extention of the NHS. Providing health and wellbeing It is a social hub for all ages and will have a detrimental effect on the community An inadequate bus service impacts the situation Council continue to throw good money after bad at Ashton Market. What do we pay our taxes for.

  7. I think we all need to know what allowances the people are getting that make these decisions on our behalf (ha!) Basic allowance £12,823 and at least 11 more being paid in excess of £20,000 is this good value I think not! Maybe we should close them down and use the money more wisely.

  8. Ashton pool is needed by all the people from Tameside, the council don’t give a stuff for people’s feelings. Let them demolish the building but build a replacement in the same place, the council are due to spend the money on the market ground. 11 million to be exact. WHY. Is that Angela Rayner suggestion. Levelling up they call it. Waste of taxpayers money. Vote her out of Tameside. All the car parks are empty because of rising prices. Ashton will become a ghost town in the near future even the stall holders cannot afford the fees. Time to vote Labour out.

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