Alleyne’s fears over Westbridge Park plans
Alleyne’s High School issued a press release today over the borough council’s proposed plans for Westbridge Park. In the release, the school states that a swimming pool as part of any new leisure centre at Westbridge would see the school’s pool – “a major loss not only for the students of Alleyne’s High School but also the first and middle schools of Stone and the surrounding areas”.
Here’s the press release in full:
The Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team of Alleyne’s High School would like to respond to the information which has been received by the community of Stone and surrounding areas in relation to the proposed leisure development at Westbridge Park.
Alleyne’s High School has made an application for academy conversion with effect from September 2013, but this has not yet been finalised at this stage. Conversion to become an academy would provide the school with many freedoms which would benefit the school, particularly from a funding viewpoint. However this, in no way, would affect the current joint use arrangement which exists between the school and Stafford Borough Council for the use of the sports facilities.
The proposed development at Westbridge Park includes the addition of a six lane, 25m swimming pool, which obviously would shift the funding currently received from Stafford Borough Council from Alleyne’s Sports Centre to Westbridge Park. Not only would this create a funding shortfall for the school, but would present the situation where two swimming pools would be in existence within the town of Stone. Stafford Borough Council have expressed an interest in continuing to provide leisure facilities from Alleyne’s Sports Centre for all other facilities except swimming. Should this situation arise and the development take place at Westbridge Park, it is likely that the pool at Alleyne’s Sports Centre will close, thus creating a major loss not only for the students of Alleyne’s High School but also the first and middle schools of Stone and the surrounding areas.
Alleyne’s Sports Centre is part of Alleyne’s High School and is currently owned by Staffordshire County Council. A joint use agreement is in place between the school and Stafford Borough Council which allows the shared use of the leisure facilities for the school and the community. This agreement has been in place since 1970, is managed by the school and ensures a proportionate sharing of capital and revenue costs to provide a viable and maintained leisure facility.
Facilities available at Alleyne’s Sports Centre include the swimming pool, astro turf pitch, football pitches, squash courts, sports hall, changing rooms and coach education room. Refurbishments took place in 2005 to the main building and the pool was relined in 2009. A pool cover was installed in 2011 as part of an efficiency upgrade.
As well as the school and the local community, the pool is utilised by the local first and middle schools for swimming lessons through the County Swimming Service.
Alleyne’s High School will continue to provide the best possible facilities for its students and will ensure that the highest quality of Physical Education will still be provided.
The final public consultation event takes place at Alleyne’s High School on Saturday 2nd March between 10.30am and 2.30pm. The online consultation can be found HERE