Charlotte’s praise for pool revamp

Plans to spend almost £200,000 inproving facilities at Mansfield’s Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex have been praised by Paralympian Charlotte Henshaw.

Sport England have revealed plans for Mansfield District Council to use £196,850 of lottery funding to improve the changing facilities at the Titchfield Park leisure complex.

Under the plans, new changing areas will be built in a former cafe area, and existing changing rooms will also be upgraded to allow more changing space for visitors.

Charlotte (26), who won silver medals in both the IPC World Championships in 2011, and the 2012 London Paralympics, said she has been using the facilities at Water Meadows to train since she was four.

She said: “Watermeadows is a great facility but it does need refurbishment. The changing room facilities in particular need a facelift, as the more attractive it is as a place to visit, the more people will want to go back.

“I would like to see more family changing as part of the process, because there’s not a lot of facilities for families to change at the moment.

“I think this would get more families attending, especially as there is a big push at the moment to get kids into swimming.

“I have been going to Water Meadows since I was tiny, I actually presented a bouquet to the Queen when it was officially opened, and I have always had training sessions there.

“It’s a great facility for elite swimmers, but we do need to get more people coming through the doors, and people coming back time and again.”

Mansfield District Council said the work will begin later in 2013 and will be completed in two phases, depending on final approval from councillors later today.

Work building the new changing rooms will begin in September and is expected to be completed by Christmas.

Work renovating the existing changing facilities will then begin early in 2014, a council spokesman said.

Between now and 2017, Sport England is set to invest £45 million of lottery funding into projects to improve grassroots sport facilities.

Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson, said: “Protecting and improving local sport facilities is an important part of the legacy from 2012.

“This National Lottery fund will create thousands more sporting opportunities for communities across the country encouraging people to get active and take up sport.”