Expert panel to debate Quarry Swimming Pool’s role in strong town centre

Shrewsbury BID and Shropshire Society of Architects have called in experts in architecture and urban planning to lead a public debate on the future of the town’s Quarry Swimming Pool.

The open meeting on Thursday 4th February at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, will consider the importance of having centrally located leisure facilities for local people and for socially and economically sustainable town centres.

The debate ‘Future proofing a healthy Shrewsbury town centre: Why the Quarry Swimming Pool matters’ starts at 6.30pm with an expert panel chaired by leading architect Paul Keogh, former president of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland.

He will be joined by David Rudlin, an expert in the built environment with experience of high profile consultancy projects; Simon Wall, one of Ireland’s best known architect-planners who is consulted by government on national town centre regeneration initiatives and architect Ruth Reed, director of Shropshire based Green Planning Studio Limited, and the first woman to be elected President of Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA). David Tittle, Chief Executive of MADE, a Midlands based organisation focussed on championing and advising on high quality built environment schemes, will also be part of the panel along with David Albutt, director of Leisure-Net Solutions.

Kirsten Henly, Shrewsbury BID Executive Director, said: “With Shropshire Council announcing that more time and research is needed before a decision can be made on the future of the Quarry Swimming Pool, we’re delighted we could invite national planning and urban design experts to the town for an engaging, locally focussed debate. Drawing on their wealth of professional experience and planning and architectural practise, we hope to learn from their thoughts on our own context of the pool’s role in Shrewsbury’s broader leisure offer.

“As a voice for the business community, we have serious concerns about the future location of Quarry Swimming Pool and the economic impact any move out of the town would have on the town centre. Whilst the findings of Shropshire Council’s consultation clearly showed the Quarry site as a preferred location, further analysis and expert insight is now vital.”

Michael Cruise, Chair of Shropshire Society of Architects said, “We’re really pleased to be involved in this event, bringing architects and planners from across the country, including Shropshire, with lots of experience which is relevant to this very local issue. We’re looking forward to exploring all the angles of the debate with residents and businesses in Shrewsbury and thinking about what the long term options for the pool and site could be.”

The panel will share their views and experience on broader town centre development and growth opportunities, as well as the role of leisure facilities play in vibrant town centres, and will also be taking questions from the audience.

The opinions discussed will be forwarded to Shropshire Council which is considering whether to revamp or rebuild the pool on the current Quarry site or move it to a new site.

Shrewsbury BID has already raised concerns about the economic impact any move out of the town would have on Shrewsbury town centre.

People who would like to attend the debate are asked to email [email protected] or sign up at Eventbrite/Shrewsbury-debate to help organisers manage numbers.


Pete White Pete White

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