Friday, 31 August 2012


With two weeks to go until the decision is taken on the future of the Leith Waterworld site, Splashback is today publishing our bid to reopen the pool.  The decision will now be taken in the Full Council meeting on 20th September.

We have worked over the last six months to put together what we believe is a viable plan for the reopening of Leith Waterworld.   We have looked at the impact of closure and the potential benefits of reopening.  The significant support that we have received from the third sector, businesses but most importantly from the public in Leith and the wider Edinburgh community, have convinced us that the reopening is both possible and desirable.  From our survey we found that 74% of respondents now reported that they and their families were swimming less since closure.  Within our bid, we set how we can safeguard the site and run it, not for the Council, but with the Council. 

  • We would set up a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) to lead and manage the operation.
  • We would reduce the requirement for subsidy from c. £340,000 to £273,000 in the first year, reducing to £223,000 in year 3. 
  • This would bring the operating subsidy required in line and then under,  the average subsidy for swimming pools in Scotland (£2.18 per visit x 126,000 visits = £274,680)
  • We would increase revenue streams through expanded soft play, a slight increase in pricing, opening for an additional day and offering special schools use during that day. 
  • In the longer term, we would seek to reduce the heating costs through a phased programme of capital investment, using sources of grant funding available to  charities and community organisations.
The Council are selling the ground lease for the site.  We believe that we, the people of Edinburgh, already own Leith Waterworld, and as such we are bidding to buy the ground lease for £1.  The decision will be based on achieving 'best value' for the city.  Splashback believes that 'value' is not just about the cost, but about what something offers in return for that investment. 
  • The benefits of swimming on people's health and wellbeing are numerous.
  • The benefits of providing a place where children can get comfortable in water as they learn to swim are well established.
  • The benefits of providing a pool that allows disabled people to enter with dignity are obvious.
  • The benefit of operating a leisure pool in an area where a third of all children live in poverty is just.
  • The benefits to the local economy of having an attraction that brings more people to the area  ripple out beyond the amenity into the local community.
 In May, the new Lab/SNP administration set out a new coalition agreement - "A Contract WITH the Capital" (our emphasis).  The preamble states "We also need to acknowledge that there has been a breakdown of trust between the residents of Edinburgh and their elected representatives on the Council.  That relationship needs to be repaired.  It will not be accomplished quickly, or easily, but it needs to be addressed. 

With the Local Government elections of 3 May 2012 over, this new contract with the capital marks a fresh start, with a Council willing to listen to local people and work together with local communities, business and the third sector. A Council where co-operation, fairness, accountability and responsibility really matter." 

If the community bid makes sense to you:
All letters of support, gratefully received - splashbackedinburgh[at]
Please also contact your local councillor to let them know that you support our bid to reopen Leith Waterworld.

FINAL Splashback Bid Document

1 comment:

  1. I'm getting to boiling point with the cuts in this country/city.. The keep attacking minor tie's..the OAP..the Disabled ..all these things are being done under the nose of the only one's that can make a difference ..the 25/55 tax payers..If we can make enough noise ..they will hear and care..How can we make the news..It seems that the media are not interested until a disabled person dies...