Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Cambridge pool plan flounders

Many people were against the building of a new pool complex and instead wanted the old outdoor pool upgraded. Photo / Supplied
Many people were against the building of a new pool complex and instead wanted the old outdoor pool upgraded. Photo / Supplied

Plans for a controversial $14 million pool complex in Cambridge have collapsed after the community failed to raise enough money in time.

The Cambridge pool fundraising committee was unable to raise 75 per cent of the $4.181 million contribution by Waipa District Council's deadline and the council will now go back to the drawing board.

The fundraising committee was thrown a lifeline at the end of last year after it received $500,000 from the Lottery Grants Board and $830,000 from the community.

But Waipa District Council chief executive Garry Dyet confirmed last night that the committee had been unsuccessful in raising the $4.181 million in time.

He said the council would carry out more community consultation.

The committee secured more funding in the past few weeks but fundraising committee chair Joe Scaramuzza told Mr Dyet yesterday that it was not enough to get them over the line.

Plans for a new indoor complex with both a lane pool and another for lessons, leisure and therapy for toddlers, received mixed reactions from the community.

A group was set up, and a petition with 5040 signatures collected, to put pressure on the council to save the existing 1970s outdoor pool, which would have been demolished to make way for the new complex.

Cambridge Save Our 50m Pool spokesman Roy Emerson was "rapt" the new complex was not going ahead.

He hoped the council would invest in upgrading the old pool and, when funds became available, build a 25m indoor pool beside it to cater for children and winter swimming.

Waipa Mayor Alan Livingston said the economic climate and the existence of other swimming facilities in the town, including a new pool at St Peter's School, had changed the picture significantly since the pool complex was approved six years ago.

A consultant, with fundraising and pool building expertise, will address the council next Tuesday and consultation will begin in July.

Mr Livingston was hopeful the council would be repaid the $70,500 it had put towards fundraising costs.

The money set aside by the council for the pool - about $10 million - would be pushed back in its long-term plan for three years so thorough consultation could be carried out.

OUT OF TIME
* Plans to raise money for a new pool in Cambridge have failed as the money needed has not been raised on time.
* The new complex was to cost $14 million.
* A $500,000 grant came from the Lottery Grants Board and another $830,000 was given by the community last year.

- NZ Herald

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