FAVOURED sites for new swimming pools across Bradford can be revealed today as a month-long public consultation starts next week over the Council's controversial plans.

Proposals to shut pools in Bingley and Queensbury have already seen protest petitions supported by thousands of people.

Richard Dunn and Bowling pools, which Council chiefs say are also outdated and costly to run, are also facing the axe.

The Telegraph & Argus has already exclusively revealed that the Council has bought a site in Nelson Street for a new city centre pool.

Now we can reveal that three community pools are planned for Sedburgh playing fields near Odsal, Asa Briggs recreation ground in Queensbury and in Squire Lane, Toller.

The city centre pool, proposed for the site of the old Wetherby Engineering building near Trafalgar House police station, would have eight lanes with diving and would cater for all needs from family fun swims to competitive swimming galas.

Three six-lane pools would be built at the other three proposed sites.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pool closures
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All the new pools would be 25 metres long and might also contain other amenities such as gyms, plus leisure space inside and outdoors.

Phil Barker, the Council's assistant director of sport and leisure, said the overall aim of the shake-up was to encourage a strong interest in swimming at a young age which might then lead to competition standard.

Councillor Andrew Thornton, the Council's executive member for environment and sport, said the existing swimming pool structure was unsustainable.

"We are very keen to see new, modern facilities built for Bradford people that they will enjoy and are easily accessible," he said.

"There is no getting away from the fact that several of our pools are outdated and costly to maintain. They cannot meet our future needs and are unsustainable.

"Sport England strongly supports our proposed strategy of replacing them with new facilities and then disposing of these older pools.

"Having modern, accessible facilities should encourage more people to become active.

"A new city centre swimming pool would also greatly assist swimming development and help talented swimmers who would like to compete at the higher levels."

Cllr Thornton stressed that no firm decisions on the future of any existing swimming pools had yet been taken and he urged people to take part in the consultation process.

"Everything is on the table to be discussed," he said.

"We want to hear from people about what is the right thing to do and how best to invest in sport and leisure across in the city and district,"

The consultation will last four weeks from Monday and a roadshow will tour key locations including Bingley, Thornbury, Great Horton, Girlington, Queensbury, Halifax Road and Canal Road areas, using leisure centres, community facilities and public venues such as supermarkets.

The Council has pledged that people's views will be fully scrutinised and all financial aspects will then be considered before a business case is produced which is intended to go before the Council's executive later this year.

To have your say go to bradford.gov.uk/consultations.