New park of hope for open-air pool

BROOMHILL pool could have a future if a new group set up by Ipswich council brings in the cash to fund its restoration.A new eight-person working party is being set up to develop the pool for the next ten years.

By Paul Geater

BROOMHILL pool could have a future if a new group set up by Ipswich council brings in the cash to fund its restoration.

A new eight-person working party is being set up to develop the pool for the next ten years.

It is being established after it emerged that the last year the pool was open – 2002 – the running costs were £3.20 for every £1 it made.

The pool made a loss of £44,000 – it cost £64,000 but made just £20,000.

That loss is dwarfed by the loss made by the town's flagship Crown Pools – which cost council tax payers £368,500 last year.

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But compared with its overall budget that's small beer – Crown Pools took £488,000 last year and cost £856,000 to run.

That means the running costs were £1.75 for every £1 it made.

Fore Street Baths made a loss of £39,000 – it took £63,000 and cost £102,000 to run.

Not included in individual pools accounts – because they involve both Crown Pools and Fore Street – are the figures for swimming courses run by the council which show a profit of £126,000 for the year.

Overall, the council's leisure and and culture budget is the largest single drain on taxpayers – costing £7.8 million out of the council's £25.8 million budget.

That is dwarfed by the Housing Revenue Account, which has a turnover of about £65 million, but that is financed by council house rents and not taxpayers.

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