Northern Arena confirms swim pool plan

Northern Arena, a major leisure centre in Silverdale, is negotiating the purchase of land in Warkworth to start development of a swimming pool facility by 2020.

It is understood the privately-owned site is near the Warkworth Showgrounds.

Northern Arena director Matthew Saunders says details about the time frame and design of the development will be released once the land is acquired, which is likely to happen this month.

Earlier this year, Council reviewed five Expressions of Interest in the Warkworth pool project.

Council’s head of active recreation Rob McGee says the list was narrowed down to three developers/pool providers regarding the opportunity to partner on a pool, but one company pulled out after follow-up discussions.

He says Council is reviewing the finance mechanisms that might be available to fund potential Council investment.

“A partnership approach will decrease Council’s potential investment,” Mr McGee says.

However, Mr Saunders says that although he is working with Council, he does not describe it as a partnership.

“I doubt we will get any financial contribution from Council,” Mr Saunders says. “We envisage operating and maintaining the facility ourselves.”

He says population growth and the area’s proximity to coastal areas makes a pool a high priority.

“We already have a number of pupils who attend our Silverdale centre from Warkworth and some from as far away as Mangawhai.

“We are keen to get things moving as quickly as possible.”

Northern Arena in Silverdale operates seven days a week and includes a gym facility.

The community has been advocating for a pool for Warkworth for many years, with more than half of submissions to the Rodney Local Board Plan 2011-2013 requesting a community pool.

The Rodney Local Board is expected to be updated on the pool negotiations at a workshop next month.


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