The Isle of Man Government ‘remains committed’ to the re-development of Castle Rushen High School.

Back in January, following controversy over the potential closure of the Southern Swimming Pool, a new six-lane swimming pool was included in the 'indicative master plan' of the re-development.

The masterplan has now been made public, with discussions regarding the redevelopment first taking place in 2016.

When asked what the cost of a new Southern Swimming Pool would be and how it would be funded during Tuesday’s House of Keys sitting, Treasury Minister Dr Alex Allinson said: ‘As Treasury outlined in the budget presentations and in subsequent questions, there is no specific budget or an estimated cost at this stage for a replacement pool.

‘Feasibility studies have been conducted to consider the scale and scope for the site as a whole. The master plan work identified indicative costs for a sports facility, but this is not fully costed and is much wider than just the pool.

‘The work carried out by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) on the concept master planning has allowed the Treasury to support the overall project with £3.2 million from the project development fund to undertake design and feasibility work, which can then be more fully and accurately costed.

‘At this stage, I cannot give an estimate to the cost of the pool itself.’

Dr Allinson emphasised that the priority for the department is the building of a new secondary school in the south and referenced ‘learning’ the best way to do this from developments in the UK.

He said: ‘It’s been a very long time since the Isle of Man has re-developed or built a secondary school. What we'd like to do is make sure that we capitalise and learn from the UK’s methods in terms of constructing high quality buildings that are adaptable in the future. We could also learn from their methods in educational training and delivery.’

The DESC claims the re-development will be a 'significant investment in the south that demonstrates the Government’s commitment to deliver a secure, vibrant and sustainable future where outstanding lifelong learning and development opportunities are available for all'.

The new school will be constructed first, in stages, so as not to disrupt education at Castle Rushen.

This will be followed by the sports block and swimming pool, with completion expected by 2030.

Dr Allinson continued: ‘I’m absolutely committed to this project, and I know the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture [Daphne Caine] is too.

‘Hopefully by the end of June, we should have a much better idea in terms of the next step of putting this out for tender and looking for the right design to take this forward.’