- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Commenting on the £1m refurbishment of Harlech swimming pool, local Assembly Member Joyce Watson said:
“I spoke to patrons and site manager Paul Jones when I visited the pool in April and everyone was very excited about the refurbishment plans.
“The volunteers at Harlech and Ardudwy Leisure, with the support of the Welsh Government and Big Lottery, have done a fantastic job so far keeping Harlech pool afloat – hopefully the new facilities will increase revenue and help secure the long-term future of the pool.”
The Labour Mid and West Wales AM has also written to Wales’ new Sports Minister urging him to include Harlech swimming pool in the Welsh Government’s Free Swimming Initiative.
Under the initiative, the Government funds free swimming in Wales for children aged 16 and under during school holidays and at weekends, and people aged 60 and over outside school holidays – although, some local authorities have extended the scheme to provide 60+ Free Swimming all year around.
However, the scheme is not available in Harlech because the pool is no longer maintained by the local authority.
In 2010, following a massive community effort, Harlech and Ardudwy Leisure took over the troubled pool. The community business was set up to save the pool when Gwynedd council said it would have to close to save money.
After helping to secure the pool’s rescue, Joyce lobbied the previous Minister to extend the coverage of the Free Swimming Initiative to pools like Harlech, but despite apparent support for her plan, community pools still cannot qualify for the scheme.
The Labour Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales is now urging the new Minister to look afresh at bringing free swimming to Harlech town.