Campaign Surges to Preserve Oxford Brookes Swimming Pool

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A significant petition has gained traction in efforts to protect community facilities, with close to 1,000 signatures opposing the closure of a swimming pool at Oxford Brookes University’s Harcourt Hill campus. The pool, alongside its sauna and steam room facilities, is set to close on September 1 this year, triggering widespread resistance from local residents and stakeholders.

The university’s decision is part of a broader consolidation plan known as the Oxford Campus Vision, aiming to centralize university activities onto the Headington Campus by 2025. This strategic move necessitates the closure of the Harcourt Hill facilities, which the university has determined are nearing the end of their operational life. An independent assessment recently highlighted that over £500,000 in maintenance is required to keep the pool operational, with additional inflationary pressures increasing the cost of necessary upkeep.

According to the petition, the swimming pool is an essential resource for the Botley community, particularly for children from 12 local primary schools who use it for swimming lessons. It urges Oxford Brookes University and the Vale of White Horse District Council to reconsider the closure, proposing short-term measures to keep the pool accessible and advocating for collaborative efforts to secure its long-term future.

Despite community opposition, Oxford Brookes University remains firm in its decision, citing financial constraints and strategic objectives. The university has pledged to communicate with affected parties, including pool users and members, to mitigate the impact of the closure. Meanwhile, the Vale of White Horse District Council, while sympathetic to community concerns, clarified its limited role in the university’s operational decisions concerning Harcourt Hill facilities.

With the petition gathering momentum and surpassing 900 signatures, it reflects widespread local sentiment and highlights the broader implications of public facility closures on community well-being. As stakeholders await further developments, the outcome of this petition may influence future discussions between educational institutions, local councils, and community advocates regarding the preservation of crucial recreational resources amidst urban development.

In conclusion, while the future of the Oxford Brookes swimming pool remains uncertain, the collective voice of concerned residents continues to advocate for its retention. Whether through immediate action or sustained community engagement, the ongoing petition embodies a steadfast commitment to safeguarding vital local amenities amidst institutional restructuring and financial realities. As deliberations progress, petitioners remain steadfast in their resolve to uphold the cultural, educational, and recreational significance embodied by the Harcourt Hill swimming pool.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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