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Wallonia wants more swimming pools in region

Credit: Google Maps

The Walloon government is working on a second pool plan to increase the number of swimming pools in the region after the first swimming pool plan failed to do so.

The first plan mainly focused on renovating the existing pools, which is why the surface area of water accessible for swimming didn’t increase, according to Walloon Minister for Sports Infrastructure, Jean-Luc Crucke.

“As for the report allowing me to evaluate the opportunity and feasibility of providing Wallonia with training pools and the evaluation of the needs for new sports pools,” Crucke said in a committee of the regional parliament.

According to Crucke, this report will be finalised by the end of this week and based on the findings, the second plan will be written up.

Meanwhile, a first phase of the project devoted to training pools could be proposed to the government soon, paid for with the unused budget of the previous plan.

Since 2016, two new pools have been built in the region, however, four swimming pools were permanently closed.

Meanwhile, the construction of other new pools is being analysed, and on 28 May, the final plans for a new Olympic swimming pool in Louvain-la-Neuve, which was granted a government subsidy of €5.1 million, were announced. Both the 50 by 25 metres and a 25 m² paddling pool are expected to open in 2024.

“Given the extent of the needs, a second plan looking at other renovations could also be envisaged,” Crucke said.

Summer swimming

Last month, the Flemish government announced that it would be adding four additional open-air swimming locations in the region. Until last year, swimming in open water was permitted at 70 beaches and 47 inland pools of water in the region.

In Brussels, a temporary outdoor pool at the canal in Anderlecht created by POOL IS COOL with a 200 person per day capacity, will bring welcome relief from the heat in the city throughout the summer.

The 17-by-7-metre pool offers people a chance to swim lanes or to cool down on a hot summer’s day, but will also be sufficiently shallow to allow young people and children to visit the bathing spot.