July 2021 update
Hopefully everyone is now back in the water and feeling happier, what better time to update you all on progress with our project to build our very own 50m pool.
In March we held the “official” launch to all our clubs, and we were delighted to be joined at the launch by Jane Nickerson (CEO Swim England) and Joan Wheeler (Chair of Swim England East Region). After a long time in the planning, we were finally able to reveal the proposed location of the pool, and to outline the way we intend to run it. At the centre of our planning has been that this is to be an aquatic centre for the clubs, and we are putting them front and centre.
Every club in the county has been able to book a 1-2-1 session where we could discuss specific issues they might have. Each of these sessions was recorded so we have a record to refer to. Following this round of meetings, we reached out to clubs in neighbouring counties as well as other County bodies/Regions and Nationally.
There was a lot of interest and several people have described this as the potential “Ponds Forge of the South”. On the back of each of these calls we asked each organisation to indicate what their future commitment to the pool might be as that would feed directly into our financial and feasibility modelling. Our Business Consultant has based expected outgoings on industry standards, and we now have income figures to work with.
Our income and expenditure modelling has been reviewed by an independent expert, and while we have a few areas that have been marked as high risk, overall, the project is looking quite healthy.
We now need to engage local schools within a 10 mile radius, to understand potential uptake for school swimming during the day and we are also looking at various configurations to allow more use of the main pool during the day. However, it is important to stress at the heart of this project is competitive sport.
We have also been in regular contact with the college to identify opportunities for them to use facilities during the day and also learning opportunities for their students. This will all feed into the final business arrangement we come to.
The core team continue to have weekly meetings and whilst we are in some ways getting ahead of ourselves, we identify items we want to include in the build. The extended team meets monthly to look at the bigger picture.
We continue to work hard behind the scenes and are all dedicated to delivering this project. All involved believe it will be a ground breaking complex focussed on doing things differently.
February 2021 update
We may be in lockdown, but work continues apace with this project.
We now have a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the land owners and with that in place we are at a point where we can now talk more openly to you.
We will be holding a launch event for the next stage of the project – our Due Diligence to check that our assumptions on income are actually achievable to ensure we can cover the costs of the project.
We will be hosting a Zoom meeting with representatives from ALL our aquatic clubs invited (3 per club) along with our County representatives, the Swim England East Region Directors and maybe even a National representative…
Details will be sent out shortly, including joining instructions and we strongly urge all clubs to be represented.
On the project, there have been changes to the draft plans, we are now looking at a 50m 10 lane pool with a fixed depth of 3m and we are looking to increase spectator and athlete capacity if possible.
The most important aspect of what we can deliver is what we can earn from it and that fundamentally is where you all come in.
Look out for emails, follow the instructions to register and we look forward t talking to you all next week.
Progress meeting notes October 2020
Work continues behind the scenes. We are now having regular weekly meetings to fathom out the business model and some of the finer details of the proposed layout.
We have had a couple of very fruitful meetings with the landowner and are working very hard to get an agreement in place which will allow us to reveal the location of this exciting project.
Highlights at present…
50m 10 lane pool with a fixed depth of 2.5m
25m 6 lane teaching pool, 0.9m – 2.0m sloping floor
400 seat spectator gallery
320 seat athlete gallery
Raised team pods for briefing/debriefing and team gatherings
We have gone out on twitter to seek feedback from all interested parties from anywhere in the country – what makes good? Email email@example.com if you have anything specific.
We are also starting to walk through various journeys through the building to identify any issues.
9 October 2020
The Trustees have released initial drawings of the new pool. There is much more work to be done but we think that these drawings provide a good idea of what the end result will look like.
6 August 2020
Work behind the scenes progresses, we are now in possession of a quotation for the pool tanks and have just received our Latent Demand report on potential future demand for the facility.
The report allows us to assess what to put in the build as well as the pools to attract more users/income.
We have been waiting on this report to allow us to gauge how big the build needs to be so we can get an estimate of build costs. Our next step is to have another meeting this month to look in closer detail at that.
We are grateful to those clubs that have responded to our requests for information, we need your cooperation/input to help us get this right – we only have 1 shot at it.
29 June 2020
4 May 2020
A very productive call delving into the Athlete Journey at an event, discussing what facilities we need to incorporate for the athletes – including changing cubicles/group change/showers/lockers etc.
The meeting also discussed how athletes use the pool – bags on poolside, requirements for live broadcast, room on poolside, control room, catering operations.
Our next meeting is planned for 21st May.
9th April 2020
Herts Aquatics 50m pool team met via a conference call on 7th April and were updated on progress including work being undertaken by Sport England that we hope to take advantage of.
Sport England & Swim England remain on board with this project and several companies are investing a lot of time looking at its feasibility.
We are still looking at potential operating models to generate more money to allow us to bring the project to fruition and this work needs to look outside the box. We need to reduce build cost and again we are looking at different build options beyond pure bricks & mortar.
Our next meeting is scheduled for 30th April and we will update following that meeting.
From now on we now intend to issue a monthly update.
Swim England Hertfordshire are excited to announce that Hertfordshire Aquatics has been granted Charitable Status.
Hertfordshire Aquatics are working very closely with a number of organisations to look at furthering the project. Currently we are looking at how we can reduce the funding we need to allow us to build a fit for purpose facility that you will want to swim at.
We are talking to architects, builders and pool suppliers to see what we can achieve as well as working with specialists to look at predicted income and expenditures.
The project is gaining momentum and once we are sure it will float we will look to sign contracts with the landowners and THEN we will be able to let you know where it is.
In the meantime we will post updates here as and when we have them.