A BRAND-new state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool built to support students at a specialist Gobowen college has officially been opened.

Staff, fundraisers and donors all gathered at the new facility on Friday to take a tour of the newest addition to Derwen College.

The pool will be helpful to students for several reasons, including assistance with mobility and sensory help with sound and lighting effects.

It has benefited from generous donations from many community groups and leading grant makers such as The Bradbury Foundation, St. James's Place Charitable Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation who, between them, donated £330,000.

College principal Meryl Green said she is delighted to have such a state-of-the-art facility open for use at Derwen, and was quick to thank Paul Crosby, college fundraiser, for his efforts.

“It’s absolutely amazing to have this facility and it’s something we thought would never really come to fruition a few years ago,” she said.

“We have received some fantastic donations from various donors, and for that we thank them and the fantastic work of Paul – without him this wouldn’t have happened.

“The benefits of this will go on and on for the students for years to come.

“There aren’t many of these around the area, so it’s amazing for a college the size of ours to have one of these.

“There’s a whole team of people to thank, and on top of that is the donors listed on a plaque near the entrance to the building.

“We would also like to thank the architects, builders and the project planning group which have all been helping throughout the entirety of the project.”

Paul echoed Meryl’s thoughts, and believes the pool will prove to be a huge help for a wide range of students.

He said: “The pool helps those with stiff joints to get moving, but it also has sensory benefits which help to calm those that may have behavioural problems.

“This can help to calm a lot of our students through the use of the sound and lighting effects the pool offers.

“It’s a sensory environment which can be created in there. We can control the environment in the room to suit the individual using it.”

Chair of Governors K Kimber welcomed guests including North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson and Dr Josh Dixey, High Sheriff of Shropshire, before the ribbon was cut by Paul.

Derwen College student Sophie Lay, from Wrexham, also came to the opening with her mother Sharron Lay.

Sophie, who attends Derwen College’s Ashdale satellite site in Wrexham, will be a regular user of the hydrotherapy pool and facilities.