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About $500,000 is now needed to secure the funding for the long-awaited project, after the Otago Community Trust approved a $1.5million grant, one of its largest, to the Taieri Community Facilities Trust yesterday.
A basic like-for-like replacement of the Mosgiel Pool with a six-lane main pool and a toddler pool is estimated to cost about $10.8million.
But the facilities trust wants to build a substantial facility, with at least an eight-lane pool and room for a dedicated learners' pool, a spa and hydrotherapy pool.
It is focused on raising about $5million and with the community trust's grant has now secured about $2.7million.
Earlier this month, the Dunedin City Council committed to spending $10.8million on the pool if the trust could raise $3.2million.
Facilities trust chairwoman Irene Mosley said she never expected the community trust would commit to such a large amount and it would go a long way towards the trust's final goal.
There was one more major charitable organisation the trust was waiting to hear from and Mrs Mosley felt the community trust's grant would make it take notice.
"Raising the rest won't be easy but we've got a plan and we know we can do it. And this $5million will go a very long way," she said.
Mrs Mosley said she initially missed the call advising her of the donation, as she was at a pool fundraising meeting.
"When I returned the call and heard the news I turned the car around and went straight back to tell the others and enjoy a celebratory drink."
Council staff and trust members were working on a timeline for the project which would be the next big announcement, she said.
Community trust chief executive Barbara Bridger said the grant was one of the largest in the trust's history.
The grant reflected a desire by its trustees to support community projects which had ongoing and wide community use and encouraged community participation, Mrs Bridger said.
"The Taieri Community Facilities Trust have had their fair share of frustration and delays, yet despite this have shown great tenacity to continue to work towards their end goal for the benefit of the wider community."