Opinion divided on pool and leisure site

CONFIRMATION that Angus Council is committed to providing Forfar with a new swimming pool and leisure centre was given last Thursday afternoon when Angus Alliance finance spokesman Mark Salmond delivered his budget.

It included a pledge of £12 million for the proposed “community hub” which could be delivered within five years, with Forfar Academy mooted as a possible site.

However, its location has already sparked off some debate locally, so we invited our Facebook followers to give us their views.

Whilst some agree the Academy site is best for the town, others feel a more central site, on a bus route, would be better. Others questioned whether school pupils would have priority over the general public.

Valerie Douglas suggested: “Why not put a vote into Forfar pool and let the people who use the pool frequently decide.”

Whilst Kathryn Gordon favoured the school which would provide ample parking, Pierre Bernard called for a central location where people can get easy access.

Former Kirriemuir resident Philip Murray noted: “The main problem with a swimming pool at a school is that the inevitable school swimming classes then wipe out any hope of adults going swimming between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Somewhat bizarrely, if a new pool was approved on a school site the residents of Forfar would find their existing levels of access being cut back rather than improved.”

However, Kathryn Gordon disagreed: “I’ve been to Forfar Swimming Pool over many years and have never seen many “adults” using the facilities even when its ladies only etc.

“Forfar has far too little for children to do that maybe a new pool with proper facilities would be far better, I wouldn’t mind walking a mile or two to get a decent swim. Access also does not need to be right beside the school gates, it could be from the Kirriemuir Road side also. Most folks who enjoy swimming and getting fit won’t mind a wee walk after all Forfar ain’t that big!”

Gordon Stewart preferred a more central site stating: “Let’s use this chance to get something that will last and be of use for the generations to come. I say use a site in the town as the facilities will bring in people from outside the town; the local shops will benefit as well.”

Hayley McInally suggested the site of the Strang Street mill commenting: “it would be a great option to replace a building that has been lying derelict for many years.”

However, Carol Ferguson came up with a compromise stating the swimming pool at Arbroath High School is split in two, with “half school half public use and the kids bit in the corner.

She added: “It seems to work ok there so why not in Forfar?”

To join in the debate visit www.facebook.com/forfardispatch or on twitter - www.twitter.com/forfar_dispatch