Letter, 7 December 2001, from the Director
of Sport and Recreation, University of Hertfordshire, to the Clerk
of the Committee
Further to your discussion with my colleague
Debbie Andalo, I understand that the Select Committee heard evidence
of a shortage of 50 metre pools (particularly serving the London
region) and of the potential benefits of locating such facilities
at University sites.
You expressed an interest in receiving more
information about the proposals put forward by the University
of Hertfordshire which offers Sport England and the ASA the perfect
opportunity to achieve a 50 metre pool (as part of a larger high
quality sports development) on a University site in the London
region at minimal cost.
The pool is part of a large sports complex that
will include a Regional Badminton Centre, four lane cricket centre,
fitness and sports injury facilities and sports fields with a
capital value of over £16 million. It will undoubtedly become
a centre of excellence for certain sports with particular emphasis
upon developing talented young people from the region.
These sports facilities will have full access
for the community and will have residential and sports science
services available for elite performers. The development will
be open in summer 2003.
The key factors that we believe make this project
particularly attractive for support from Sport England and the
ASA are location, need and value for money.
The University campus is located at Hatfield
adjacent to junction 3 of the A1(M) and five minutes from the
There is a population of 1.4 million people
within a 20 minute drive time of the campus.
Hatfield is 20 minutes by train from Central
London and the University's own bus service (which serves the
public as well as students) provides a comprehensive network of
routes across the county and into North London.
The local community pool is the only one in
the district, serves a residential population of nearly 100,000
people plus a rapidly growing business community and consequently
suffers from the typical problems discussed at the Committeeconflicts
of programming causing dissatisfaction for the public and lack
of quality water time at the right time and price for the elite
swimmers. Hatfield Swim Club has World Class swimmers and a top
quality Head Coach.
The potential development of a 50 metre pool
at the University of Hertfordshire has the support of all the
surrounding local authorities, the Hertfordshire ASA and would
appear to fit with the ASA strategic plan of developing 50 metre
pools to serve the London region.
The cost to enhance the University's original
pool plans from 25 metre to a 50 metre pool with moveable floor
and bulkhead to ensure maximum flexibility of use was estimated
to be in the region of £2.5 million.
This compares favourably with the most recent
investment by Sport England of £6 million to achieve a 50
metre pool at Loughborough University and, I would suggest, with
the likely cost of any development at Waltham Forest, Northampton
or anywhere else in the region.
The University requested a positive indication
of support in principle from Sport England to enable it to submit
an application to the Sports Lottery Fund for funding this additional
I have enclosed some extracts of the relevant
correspondence that has occurred since our initial discussions
with Sport England and the ASA started in 1998 which evidences
that this support was not forthcoming hence the process of application
did not proceed beyond the first stage.
I also enclose a copy of the written submission
of the Committee from Mr Ian McKenzie, as Secretary of the Hertfordshire
ASA, which referred to this project.
Should this submission arouse sufficient interest
for Sport England to review their opinion then there is, at the
time of writing, a chance of achieving a 50 metre pool to serve
the North London and surrounding region very quickly and cost
However, as construction is starting in January,
a swift contact with either Dr Tim Wilson (Deputy Chief Executive)
or me is essential.