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Holroyd City Council advances plans for Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre

Holroyd City Council advances plans for Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre
July 9, 2015

The Holroyd City Council in Western Sydney has progressed plans for the development of a new regional level aquatic and recreation centre as well as deciding the future of its current swimming pools.

An Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on 26th May presented Councillors were presented with four strategic options, contained with a detailed report outlining the planning, design and funding for the new regional facility and its integration with surrounding sporting and recreational facilities in Merrylands Regional Park.

Mayor Greg Cummings said Council had resolved to proceed with Option 2, to develop Stage 1 of the Holroyd Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre at Merrylands Regional Park, while refurbishing and continuing to operate Guildford and Wentworthville Swim Centres.

Mayor Cummings explained “Council has arrived at this decision after significant engagement and consultation with our local community.

“The new Holroyd Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre will be an iconic regional destination and meet the changing needs of our culturally diverse and ageing population.

“In addition, Council has voted to keeping the pools at Guildford and Wentworthville open for our local swimmers.”

Components of stage one of the Holroyd Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre, the first ‘regional level’ aquatic and recreation centre to be built in Sydney since the prior to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, will include:

• Four indoor pool/water play areas (a 51 metre-long x 10-lane pool, combined leisure/learn to swim pool, warm water program pool/spa, water play/splash pad)
• Health/fitness facilities (indoor gym, three group fitness rooms)
• Wellness studios
• Amenities, changing areas, a reception area, office, café and lounge.

The state-of-art multi-use facility, to be built at the site of the existing Merrylands Swim Centre, will echo several regional level aquatic and recreation facilities built in metropolitan Melbourne in recent years and cater for a large catchment area in not only the Holroyd City Council area but also for adjoining local government areas of Auburn, Bankstown and Parramatta – currently served by ageing usually outdoor facilities, many of which are reaching the end of their lifecycle.

Prior to the Councils’ Extraordinary Meeting, Mayor Cummings had explained the status of Holroyd City’s three existing swimming pools at Guildford, Merrylands and Wentworthville, stating, referring to a report from the SGL Consulting Group that highlighted how the Holroyd Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre would deliver a broader range of wet and dry services and facilities to the community.

Mayor Cummings stated “Council continues to see a massive decline in the number of people using the three pools, with patronage over the past 35 years dropping by a massive 48%, despite a rise in Holroyd’s overall population.

“Over the past four years, Council has spent $5.7 million on servicing the pools, we are literally throwing money down the drain.”

In 2013, a report from pool consultant Geoff Ninnes Fong and Partners found that it would cost $20 million to bring the Guildford, Merrylands and Wentworthville swimming pools up to acceptable functionality, legislative compliance, accessibility and energy efficiency standards.

At that time, the pools were operating at a $1.3 million to $1.6 million loss to ratepayers each year.

However, after public and local media pressure, the Council is to retain the Wentworthville and Guildford swimming pools.

For more information go to

Images show the planned Holroyd Regional Aquatic Wellness Centre (top) and the current Guildford Swimming Centre (below).


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