New lift for town’s pool

Disabled swimmers will soon be able to enjoy an Ilkeston swimming pool just as much as their able-bodied counterparts.

A new Poolpod lift is to be installed at Victoria Park to help swimmers into the pool, thanks to a £20,500 grant.

Cllr Mike Wallis, who is lead member for culture and leisure on Erewash Borough Council, which owns the centre in Manners Road, said he was ‘delighted’ it had won the funding.

“The installation of this hi-tech lift will have a real impact on the lives of people of all ages and will help ensure they have equal access to the high quality swimming facilities we have at Victoria Park Leisure Centre,” he said.

“It supports, completely, our commitment to providing more opportunities for people of all abilities to be more active.”

The cash came from Derbyshire County Council’s Aiming High fund, cash specifically for projects aimed at improving the lives of disabled people in the county.

Erewash Borough Council recently installed a similar lift at another of its leisure centres, West Park in Long Eaton.

The installation of the lift at Victoria Park will be a major addition to the venue’s facilities as it works towards being a centre of excellence for people with disabilities, according to a council spokesman.

She added that Victoria Park Leisure Centre has seen a big increase in the number of people with disabilities regularly using its two swimming pools since the centre underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment two years ago, which included a sensory room for disabled children.

The Poolpod lift, which should be installed by the summer, pivots from the poolside into the water, with wheelchair users able to transfer from their own chair into a custom-designed seat in the privacy of the changing room.

The council worked closely with Erewash Disability Sport Group, and other disabled groups, to assess the current facilities at the centre.

It is hoped it will be installed at the centre by the summer.