Agenda item


To answer questions from members of the public – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00pm on a working day, allowing two clear working days before the day of the meeting.



Mr Stephen Harwood, Keswick, submitted the following question in relation to agenda item 6 - 

‘I would like to thank Councillors and the Team involved for honouring the commitment to progress the project for new Leisure Facilities in Keswick to this stage. Having read the Feasibility Study we support the conclusion that the current site is the preferred option for development of the new facilities. Given the negative financial appraisals put forward, has the Council considered introducing other activities and working in partnership with other interested parties to maximise the site potential and improve the ongoing financial viability of the project?

Our Friends of Keswick Leisure Group remain willing to help to develop a successful project to serve the local community and the enormous potential of the tourist economy for the benefit of the whole region’


On behalf of the PH for Leisure and Tourism the Programme Director provided the following response –

‘You will be aware that the Feasibility Study is the first stage in the process, leading on to the development of a Business Case. We have discussed the opportunity to include additional activities and co-location of partner organisations as well as commercial potential to support the feasibility of a new facility. We know there are some great case studies on how this can work. However, the timescales of the work with FMG didn’t allow for the depth of conversation or any level of commitment that would have been needed to be able to include it as part of the options appraisal and robust business case. Equally with Local Government Reorganisation (LGR), some of those partners who might be best placed to increase the potential of any facility weren’t in a position to be able to progress those conversations.

I am sure however that Cumberland will consider those options as part of the next steps following the final outline business case’.


Mr Harwood then asked for clarification on who would be taking the project forward following LGR in the new Cumberland Council.


It was explained the responsibility in the new Cumberland Council would likely sit under the Vibrant and Healthy Places Portfolio, although that would be confirmed at the Annual Meeting on 13 April, the lead Director would be the Director of Place, Sustainable Growth and Transport and then the Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods.


Ms Debbie Devereux, Keswick, submitted the following question in relation to agenda item 6 -

‘Representing the currently non swimming community of Keswick, and the tourists – both day trippers and national / international visitors, who flock to the town all year round – we consider that to build anything less than a 25m pool – tank or leisure with lanes – would be extremely short sighted. The Feasibility Study considers 2 projects ranging from a 20m pool to a 25m pool with a projected cost difference of £4.25million. When building a pool the relative cost difference in going from 20m to 25m is far less significant. However the opportunities would be greater to make effective use of the facility: swim clubs, swim galas, fun sessions, school swimming, canoe clubs, sports clubs, triathlon events and would be significant in standard competition distances.

Has consideration been given on how to maximise the greater potential for a 25m pool v 20m pool in the feasibility study / business case?’


On behalf of the PH for Leisure and Tourism the Programme Director provided the following response –

‘The full breakdown of the usage of the pool will be presented in the business case. It splits into the current recording groups of casual, membership, lessons and pool hire (for clubs and schools and parties) along with a timetable. The numbers/income are set using market trend, local knowledge and capacity. The figures are realistic but ambitious, having looked at all the potential usage.
When looking at the options in accordance with HM Treasury green book guidance we need to look at the best Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR). A calculation taking into account capital revenue costs as well as financial and non- financial benefits. The 20m pool option comes out with the highest BCR score and therefore the budget business case has been developed around that option. The Business Case will be considered by Cumberland Council’.


Ms Devereux then asked which experts had the Council engaged with to explore the potential of a 25m pool v a 20m pool.


It was explained that that would be the work presented in the Business Case.