AN OVERTON swimming club is celebrating this week after being granted a new lease on a pool that has been closed to the community since 2017.

Lordsfield Swimming Club had been negotiating a new lease for the pool with Hampshire County Council (HCC) after Overton Primary School, where the pool is located, had earlier advised it could no longer afford its share of the costs.

Now the club has lease agreed and is looking forward to a grand reopening on Saturday, May 25.

The good news was shared at its annual general meeting on Tuesday (March 12).

Lauren McCann, chair of the club, said at the meeting: “Trustees have been working for the last 20 months. We got news last night that the lease is ready to be signed and should be in the hands of the solicitors soon.”

A 25-year lease has been drawn up listing Lordsfield Swimming Club as the sole tenant. It will cost £500 for the first year and £750 thereafter.

“They offered us £5,000 per year for five years so we did very well to battle that down,” added Lauren.

A further fee of £200 will be payable to Overton Primary School to cover the cost of meter readings and billing.

The club will grant a license to the school allowing pupils to use the pool for 15 hours per term.

Lauren added: “The children will get to swim at school. They don’t have to get on a bus and go to Whitchurch or Andover so that’s great.”

Despite being unable to use the pool for more than a year, the club has been busy offering first-aid training and making plans ahead of the reopening.

“There’s lots and lots of work that needs doing and we need another work group just to lighten the load,” added the club chair.

“This is when the real works starts and then hopefully we will be opening on May 25.”

The pool had been a staple of the community before it was forced to closed. It first opened in 1959, with Lordsfield Swimming Club established four year later, and served many generations of swimmers in Overton and the surrounding area.

“It’s not just a swimming pool,” added Lauren. “It means so much more than that.”