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Swimming pool fundraising gains crucial backing

June 18th, 2016
[by David Armstrong]

The campaign to build an indoor community swimming pool has received a vital boost with an agreement by Lotteries to pay for an independent professional feasibility study.

The fundraising committee yesterday received the approval from the Lottery Community Facilities Fund Committee to fund a feasibility study which will cost $18,550 (plus GST).

This will enable the study to go ahead without the need to spend any of the money raised locally already to fund the construction of walls and roof to enclose the High School swimming pool and converted into a community pool. (See our earlier story.)

A feasibility study prepared by independent, professional consultants is a pre-requisite for the pool committee to be able to apply for a much larger Lotteries grant to supplement community fundraising and enable the pool to be built.

However, it does not guarantee subsequent funding by Lottery Community Facilities, as a great deal more community money needs to be raised before a final application can be made with confidence of the outcome.

This is in fact the third feasibility study which the pool committee (a subcommittee of Good Sports Motueka Inc) has had to commission. In the past decade, when a new indoor pool was to be funded by Tasman District Council, community fundraising paid for an initial study, and then a subsequent one. However, when TDC three years ago removed the project from its Long Term Plan the project was terminated.

Now the pool committee is working on the amended, community-driven project to cover the High School pool without the help of TDC and without ratepayer money, a new feasibility study was required by national funding agencies.

The pool committee is thrilled with the news. Its chairman, Fred Hickling, says this is a crucial step in their fundraising program.

"It will give added confidence to people and businesses who want to make a significant donation toward covering the pool, but who may have held back until there was more certainty that the project would go ahead," he says.

"This news from Lotteries is still only one step along the way, albeit a crucial one, and local businesses, service clubs and individuals will still need to show their support for the project by making donations, otherwise feasibility studies and encouragement from national funding agencies will have no effect.

"If Motueka people really want to have a covered swimming pool, as they have said many times in surveys and conversations, then we will need to reach into our pockets and match ourr words with actions."

The feasibility study will be done by Global Leisure Group, planners of facilities and sports space in New Zealand, who are based in Nelson.


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