AN industrial unit in Dinnington has been transformed into a swimming pool.
The Aquafyn Swimming and Training Centre will open its door to the public this month, four years after Dinnington lost its only swimming pool despite a high profile campaign to keep it open.
The pool, on the Brooklands Park Industrial Estate, will be predominantly used for swimming lessons but will also be open to members of the public.
As well as the 14 metre by eight metre pool, there are also changing facilities and a cafe.
The swimming pool was officially open by Rotherham Mayor Coun Shaun Wright and Olympic swimmer Jack Kirton, who was the first to test out the new facilities, at an official opening ceremony on Monday.
Sara Fynney from Aquafyn Training said the development, which has cost £250,000, has been a two year project from start to finish.
She said: “We’ve got 700 children to start swimming lessons with.”
“We’re opening next week for the lessons. We’ll then be developing a timetable which will include public swimming.”
“We’re open to suggestions from the public about what lessons and sessions they would like us to run. We’re also planning on doing Aqua Zumba.”
In 2007, the Friends of Dinnington Pool began a campaign to save Dinnington Swimming Pool, on Doe Quarry Lane from closure.
But despite a petition containing 1,600 signatures opposing the plans, Rotherham Council still pulled the plug on the facility.
The pool was shut in 2008 after four ‘super pools’ were built in Aston, Maltby, Rotherham and Wath.
Coun Wright said he was ‘delighted’ at the opening and felt is was particularly poignant because it is the Olympic year.
“It is a tremendous thing that we have this facility in Dinnington opening.”
“Who knows in 20 years time we could have someone from here representing the UK at the Olympics.”
“It’s always pleasing to be involved in anything to do with opening new business in Rotherham. We know at this point in time that the economy isn’t doing great, so this is fantastic.”
“I want to thank everyone for coming together and working incredibly hard.”
“It is going to benefit the community for many years to come. I hope it’s a business that goes from strength to strength and a real success.”
The pool was part funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which Coun Wright is treasurer of.
“From a personal point of view it is nice to see how the money is being used,” he added.
Aquafyn Training was founded in 2009 and is currently based at Todwick and Wales Primary Schools where they hire their swimming pools five days a week.
The company teach children from two-and-a-half years old through to club level.
Dinnington councillor Jane Havenhand, who was also at the opening, said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant. It will be great for Dinnington people.”