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Olympic pool plans sunk for second time


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PROFESSOR DAVID MELVILLE: In June last year the former vice-chancellor revealed the UKC was prepared to invest £10 million in the pool plan
PROFESSOR DAVID MELVILLE: In June last year the former vice-chancellor revealed the UKC was prepared to invest £10 million in the pool plan

AMBITIOUS plans to build an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Canterbury have been sunk for a second time.

The Kentish Gazette newspaper, part of the KM Group, has revealed that the University of Kent has decided to abandon the idea.

The news will come as a blow to those who had hoped the pool would secure a permanent legacy for the county from the 2012 games.

In a statement, UKC said: “The university has reluctantly decided not to proceed with the project to construct a 50-metre swimming pool on the Canterbury campus at the present time.

“It has proved difficult to gain the necessary support from outside agencies and, with limited resources of its own, it needs to prioritise other areas.

“It is possible the university will revisit the idea of a swimming pool at a later date, but on a smaller scale.”

In June last year, former vice-chancellor professor David Melville revealed that UKC was prepared to invest £10 million in the pool plan and detailed designs for a 10-lane pool on a two-acre site at the Canterbury campus were drawn up.

That announcement gave fresh impetus to the idea, which had stalled in 2006 when a working party set up to explore options for a pool concluded it would not be viable.

Swimming clubs in the county have complained for years that the lack of a 50-metre pool has hindered the development and training for their elite swimmers.

It was hoped the pool would finally offer Kent’s most promising swimmers somewhere closer to home to train, as well as a draw to teams competing in the London Olympics.

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