A swimming pool has re-opened to the community thanks to a determined woman who pledged her life savings to rescue the business from permanent closure.
Barbara Wilding fulfilled her life-long dream of managing a swimming pool when the School of Swimmers pool opened in April at Brooklands Park Industrial Estate in Dinnington, South Yorkshire. The pool closed earlier this year when its owners went into administration but Barbara was determined to save the pool before the landlord filled it in.
Barbara reveals: “I have invested all my savings, around £20,000, into this pool but I am not in for the money- the community is what matters to me.”
She adds: “It has been a long hard slog, especially as I didn’t qualify for any business funding which was really disappointing, but I’m thrilled to have finally opened the pool and the response from the local people has so far been very positive.”
The former Aquafyn Swimming and Training Centre opened in 2012, but closed less than two years later, leaving the community without a swimming pool. “Around £600,000 was invested into the pool just two years ago by the previous owners, so aside from needing a deep clean, the pool itself is in a good condition,” explains Barbara.
The 14 x 8 metre pool will now play host to a hectic programme of swimming lessons for children, adults, school classes and charity organisations. Barbara is also hoping to team up with small businesses to run courses in the building and apply for funding so people can swim for just 50p.
School of Swimmers Ltd is currently recruiting for level 2 qualified ASA staff or young people that would like to train to become qualified instructors, to assist with the expanding programme of swimming lessons available at the centre.
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Schools of Swimmers Ltd
Tel. 0743 264 6425