RENEWED efforts to build a community pool in Minehead are going from strength to strength as residents pledge support.
Retired engineer Peter Wellstood, known as ‘Peter the Poolman’, has been leading a campaign to get the town a pool for a number of years after Aquasplash closed down in 2007.
His dreams were dashed last October when West Somerset Council announced plans to sell off land at Seaward Way to help pay debts of £3.5million.
That land had been originally earmarked for a new pool. Peter says he has not given up, and has been rallying support and searching for a new site.
He said: “Meetings are starting to take place and I’m feeling much more positive compared to October last year.
“I’m trying to set up a Community Interest Company, which is an amalgamation between Companies House and the community, and it means we can use the profits and assets for the public good.
“I want this to be a community pool.
“It would be great if the district council and the town council were able to pledge some money, but the pool will remain in the community’s hands – that’s where it belongs.”
Peter, of Porlock, is now asking for help from people with experience of building pools, engineering and management.
He said he has found two pieces of land which would make the perfect location for a pool.
He said: “There are further meetings to take place and I don’t want to jeopardise any efforts, but I will not give up with my plans.
“I know that I’ll be successful in building a pool.
“I don’t care how long it takes me – we will have a pool.”
Facebook group ‘A Swimming Pool for Minehead’ was set up last month and already has 551 members suggesting ideas for the location and raising money.
Minehead town councillor Marcus Kravis has also pledged to ringfence £400,000 of the council’s reserves towards a pool, but this depends on his party, the LibDems, securing a majority on the authority and on the money being in the council reserves in May next year.
Cllr Kravis said: “It was obvious in surveys done during last year’s county council campaign that the people of Minehead want and need a local swimming pool.”
Anyone who can offer Peter help with his pool endeavours is urged to call him on 01643-863544.