Splash’s replacement: The cost

The council has argued that Sport England would have been less likely to offer funding for a facility with a beach area and wave machine than for a conventional swimming pool.

But a Sport England spokesman said it was not as simple as that, and funding would have been considered if "the council evidenced to Sport England that the wave machine would support the community in getting active."

The spokesman added: "Sport England approves the design based on Sport England design guidance notes, particularly ensuring accessibility and practicality."

Sport England has awarded the project £1m of National Lottery funding. Originally, the council was to pay for the rest using £4m from capital reserves and borrow a further £4.9m. But the project has gone over budget and, in July, councillors were forced to approve an extra £2m towards it.

Ms Gay pointed out the new building would have a 'splash pad' area just for children, but Mr Cross said that was not enough.

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He said: "The splash pad will only be suitable for young children, and is of little use to older children and adults."

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