Thousands back bid to build a new leisure centre and pool in Marple after Levelling Up funding rejected
Attempts to secure funding needed to repair the pool, via the government’s levelling up scheme, were rejected in 2021 and again last month.
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Hundreds of people have backed a campaign to build a new leisure centre and pool in Marple – after a bid for Levelling Up cash was turned down.
The previous pool was closed in March 2018 due to its unsafe facilities. Attempts to secure funding needed to repair the pool, via the government’s levelling up scheme, were rejected in 2021 and again last month.
Now Lisa Smart, a Liberal Democrats councillor in Romiley and Bredbury Green, has launched a campaign to build a new pool and leisure centre in the town’s Memorial Park. She says almost 1,000 people have signed a petition to back the “vital” project.
Coun Smart said: “This is such a vital asset for children to learn to swim for the health and well-being of all of the population of Marple and the surrounding area. The council put in two bids for the levelling up fund and was really bitterly disappointed that we didn’t get an aggregate of those bids. We as local councillors, as local Lib Dems, are campaigning really hard for a new facility for Marple.
“We’ve launched a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures so far, we’ve raised it so many times in the council, we’ve written to the Secretary of State as such an important asset for our area. And we’re really hoping more and more people support our campaign.”
Since the old pool closed nearly five years ago, Marple residents have had to travel to neighbouring towns Romiley or Hazel Grove to swim. Coun Smart wrote to the Secretary of State to express her disappointment in the decision not to fund the much-needed funding to be put towards a new asset into Marple’s community.
She said: “When so many decisions are taken centrally when there is so much power centrally and not nearly enough power in communities. There is a real fear that these decisions are taken for political reasons so you look at some of the funding announced last week, and most of it went to conservative held seats.
“Now the idea behind levelling up, as it was described, was to put more money into communities in the north and the Midlands, not into leafy areas of the South and the South East. And we saw most of them, when they went to pour more money into London in the south East regions, more money went to conserve those held by Conservative MPs.
“And for lots of people that doesn’t feel quite right and not in the spirit that levelling up was described. We will keep strengthening the voice of our community through getting more and more people to sign the petition. We are going to leave no stone unturned.”
Stockport City Council was approached for comment. The petition can be viewed and signed here.