Swimming Pool Branded “Sick and Eerie by Funeral Directors and Residents Opens it’s Doors in Redditch Today

Picture simonpreston31.wordpress.com

the £6.5 million Abbey Stadium is scheduled to open it’s new pool Today (Monday January 30th 2012)

The Abbey Stadium will have reduced opening hours during its first week and is set to open full time from Monday, February 6th

Redditch Council’s refuse and recycling vehicles (Bin Lorries/Garbage Trucks) are now advertising the opening of the Abbey Stadium

REDDITCH residents are being encouraged to watch their waist and their waste in a promotional drive to coincide with February’s reopening of Abbey Stadium after a £6.5m refit.

Redditch Council’s refuse and recycling vehicles are now sporting brand new campaign artwork encouraging residents to make good use of Redditch’s redeveloped main sports and leisure venue, with the slogan “Watch your waist! Leap into Springs fitness now at the NEW Abbey Stadium”.

Council portfolio holder for leisure, Councillor Derek Taylor, said: “Residents will love the excellent new facilities at the Abbey Stadium and swimming pool, and what better way to promote them than by using our own highly visible vehicles that will be seen all round the borough as they collect the recycling.

“Why not take this opportunity to try something new and spring into a more active lifestyle.”

Springs fitness at the new Abbey Stadium can cater for all fitness needs. For more details about facilities and membership, call 01527 60206 or e-mail springs@redditchbc.gov.uk.


A controversial plan to re-use energy generated by a crematorium incinerator to heat a public swimming pool has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Members of Redditch Borough Council hope the scheme to divert heat from waste gases from the crematorium into a nearby leisure centre will save the authority more than £14,000 a year.

When the plans were first announced last month they were attacked by a local funeral directors as ‘strange and eerie’ and ‘a bit sick’.

Eerie: Redditch Council has given the go ahead for plans to heat a public swimming pool in by plugging it into a crematorium
Eerie: Redditch Council has given the go ahead for plans to heat a public swimming pool  by plugging it into a crematorium

But work on the link between the Worcestershire town’s crematorium and the nearby Abbey Leisure Centre, which is being redeveloped, will now begin in the summer.

It will use the heat from the incinerators, which can reach 800C (1,472F), rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere.

After the full council’s decision last night, leader Carole Gandy, acknowledged that the cremation process was a sensitive matter but stressed that the proposals had widespread support.

Council leader Carole Gandy: 'It will make absolutely no difference to the people using the crematorium'
Council leader Carole Gandy: ‘It will make absolutely no difference to the people using the crematorium’

The councillor said: ‘I am pleased to say that since news of the proposals broke and following consultation we undertook in Redditch, about 80 to 90 per cent of the responses received by email, letter, phone calls and messages posted online, have been in favour of the idea.

‘Many respondents have in fact praised the council for being so innovative and for being willing to discuss the idea openly.’

Cllr Gandy added: ‘Throughout we have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden.

‘We already support our residents to insulate their homes and be energy efficient, so it seemed only right for us to explore this re-use of energy, on top of introducing solar panels and electric vehicles and other climate change measures we are currently putting into practice.’

The scheme has previously been criticised by the Unison trade union, which described the Conservative-run council’s cost-saving proposals as ‘insulting and insensitive’.

Despite the council’s talk of positive feedback, when the plans were first announced last month there was criticism from the cremation trade.

Simon Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, said: ‘I don’t know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one.

‘I think it’s a bit strange and eerie. I’m not comfortable with it at all and I think trying to save money due to the death of someone’s family member or friend is a bit sick.

Swimming pool: Abbey Stadium Sports Centre
Swimming pool: Abbey Stadium Sports Centre

‘I think it will cause uproar and may even put people off using the facilities which would lose the council money. It just doesn’t feel right.’

There has been opposition from residents in Redditch too. Simon Preston, a 32-year-old electrician from Redditch, said, ‘I think it’s disgusting, using burning bodies to heat a pool.

‘I don’t think anyone will use it and it will be closed down in 12 months if that’s the case.

‘The council says they have 90 per cent of people in favour of it but I don’t know who they have talked to because everyone I speak to about says they won’t use the pool.

‘The plans were leaked about two weeks ago and if that hadn’t happened I don’t think they would even have put it out for public consultation, and what “full” consultation can they have taken in that time?’

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