systems go for Olympic pool
WORK is to start on building an Olympic size swimming pool in
Liverpool after the city council approved a £15 million construction
Building firm Gleeson Building Limited has now got the go-ahead to
start work immediately on building the 50 metre facility at Picton
Leisure Centre in Wavertree.
The state of the art pool will be one of only a handful of Olympic
size pools in the UK. The majority of funding, £11 million, coming from the city council, with a further £4m of Lottery cash
from Sport England.
Council leader Warren Bradley said:- "It will be a valuable
facility not just for our own elite swimmers, but also the local
community including recreational groups, mothers and toddlers and
schools. It will also be used by up and coming junior swimmers
who are rising through the ranks and are potential Olympic and
Commonwealth medal winners of the future. Who knows, this facility
may even create heroes and heroines in the pool at the 2012 London
Olympic Games! Liverpool is one of the most successful
sporting cities in the country and it is only right that we have the
best training facilities for our athletes. We already have first class athletics, football, gymnastics
and tennis facilities in Liverpool, and the pool will allow us to
bid for national swimming championships so that people can cheer on
our athletes in their home city. We are delighted that Sport
England has pledged its support for the project, to help us make
this dream a reality,"
Allerton's Olympic and Commonwealth medallist Stephen Parry, who
faced a round trip of almost 100 miles per day to train in Stockport
during his time as a competitor, is backing the new pool:- "I
am absolutely thrilled that this scheme has got the go ahead.
Liverpool has a strong tradition of producing fine sportsmen and
women, and the 50 metre pool will mean the swimming stars of the
future will be able to train locally without facing the additional
hassle of having to travel in order to train."
Picton Sports Centre is the largest council operated facility in the
city, with more than 500,000 visits every year.
The scheme will replace the worn out 80 year old pool, which had to
close because of structural problems. The proposal also
includes a 20 metre/4 lane training pool, 400 seat spectator arena
and refurbishment of the existing changing rooms and Lifestyles
Stewart Kellett, Regional Director of Sport England North West,
said:- "We are extremely pleased to be able to invest such a
substantial amount into the development of a 50m pool for Liverpool.
As an organisation, we are committed to increasing participation in
physical activity and sport across the North West and the likes of
Picton Leisure Centre and a 50m swimming pool will play a huge part
in helping us to achieve this. Not only will it be a
world-class training and competition facility, but a place for us to
nurture our young talent and somewhere for the local community to
Preparatory work has already been carried out on the scheme, with
completion expected in June 2007 in time for Liverpool's year as
European Capital of Culture.
Swan turns over new leaf!
ONE of Liverpool's oldest libraries is proving popular
following work to give it a huge facelift. Old Swan library
opened in 1913 as a reading room, with books originally brought in
by hand cart from nearby Lister Drive library. An extension was
added in the 1960's to create a children's library.
The new look building includes new fixtures and fittings,
self-service points so people can take out and return books
themselves and a 'Surfzone' with access to state of the art
computers with free internet and email facilities.
The library receives more than 120,000 visits per year and loans
over 80,000 books. And the new chapter is proving popular with
customers. Comments made by visitors have included "wonderful",
"fantastic", "wow" and "very posh".
Council leader Warren Bradley said:- "Liverpool's libraries
are recognised by the government as the best in the country because
of the work we are doing to make them welcoming places for the local
community. This refurbishment has created a first-class
learning facility for both young and old in Old Swan, and the new
computer suite will mean anyone can access the latest technology for
It is the 6th library in Liverpool to be refurbished in the last 4
Rib-tickling lunch at Town Hall
THE TOWN Hall's sides will be splitting when
Liverpool's top funny men and women pay a visit to the Lord Mayor.
Ken Dodd, Ricky Tomlinson, Pauline Daniels and Stan Boardman are
just some of the 'gag'-gle of stars invited to lunch with
Liverpool's Lord Mayor, Councillor Alan Dean. More than 30
guests have been invites along to the event so that the city can
honour their outstanding contribution to comedy.
Councillor Dean said:- "Liverpool is famous for its great
Scouse sense of humour. It's wonderful that our home grown talent
are coming together, especially in this cultural year of
Throughout 2006, Liverpool will be celebrating
this city's amazing track record in all areas of performance, and
comedy fits into this perfectly.
Ken Dodd and Stan Boardman have
been making people laugh for decades and on Tuesday they will be
joined by other great talents including Pauline Daniels and Ricky
Tomlinson whose success has made him a household name.
really looking forward to next week's event as it's a chance for me
to say 'thank you' to those who put laughter in our lives."
On the menu is BBQ rib-ticklers, cheese and tickle sandwiches,
pulled leg of lamb followed by deadpan-cakes and gooseberry fool.
And, to wash it down, there's joke-a-cola and punch-line.
Freeman of the city, Ken Dodd, said:- "Merseyside should be
renamed Myrth-iside because of all the wonderful talent we have
produced. Some of my greatest comedy heroes are from this beautiful
city, Arthur Askey, Rob Wilton and Ted Ray.
that the Lord Mayor invited us all to Liverpool's number one house,
and I'm looking forward to a hilarious afternoon full of laughter
and happiness with old and new comics. And you never know, we
may inspire the Lord Mayor to crack a few jokes of his own!"