The funds were signed off at a meeting of Exeter City Council and along with the appointment of a design company due to be announced soon, represents real momentum as the project drives forward alongside the Bus Station redevelopment by Crown Estates and TIAA Henderson Real Estate.
Council Leader Pete Edwards said that getting the financial commitment was a landmark in the delivery of the project.
"This is a significant investment from the City Council and will give others the confidence to invest in Exeter," added Cllr Edwards.
The new pool will replace the ageing Pyramids pool just across the road.
“Pyramids is an old pool that has enjoyed better days,” said Cllr Edwards. The reality is that the bits and pieces that make the pool tick are starting to fail. Whilst we can keep patching up, Exeter needs a new pool and leisure complex for the people of the city and for future generations.”
The business case for a new pool identified a need for a modern fit-for-purpose swimming provision to meet the need of casual and competitive swimmers and potentially schools. Exeter is also striving to become the most physically active city in the South West by 2018. Currently 21.7% of Exeter’s adult population is obese, as are 16.36% of year 6 children.
The 25-metre eight-lane pool, which will be built on part of the existing bus station site directly opposite the Vue Cinema, is scheduled to open in 2018. It will also include a 20-metre, four-lane training pool, a small leisure pool with fun features for children, a fitness suite with 100 stations as a minimum and a health suite with sauna, steam room and relaxation area.
Funding for the pool will come from a combination of New Homes Bonus (NHB) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - funds from new developments – capital receipts and potentially borrowing.
The rest of the bus station site is being redeveloped by Crown Estates and will include a new bus station and cinema as well as restaurants and shops. A consultation exercise was recently carried out in the city centre and a planning application is to be submitted before Christmas for the project which will run alongside the swimming pool and leisure complex.
"Although the two projects are separate, the combination of both represents another significant step in the redevelopment of this part of the city centre. This is good news for Exeter," said Cllr Edwards. “The new pool and leisure complex would be ideally situated in the heart of the city, offering people the opportunity to spend a whole day in Exeter, working out or having fun in the pool, shopping and enjoying a meal – all within a short distance of each other.”