Pool Closure Statement
Our team had worked diligently on a reopening plan targeted at early July based upon an assumption that we could begin operations from the 4th within guidelines drafted by Swim England. However, swimming pools have been excluded from recent Covid19 restriction relaxations.
At present we have not been given any indication as to how and when Covid19 restrictions will be lifted for public swimming pools. This is compounded by the lack of official guidelines that will be imposed upon pools were opening sanctions to be lifted.
As an entirely volunteer run organisation this has left our opening plans in tatters. We are unable to complete the full health and safety assessment for pool operations and the safeguarding of our lifeguards and the public. We have had to put staff training on hold until we have clarity. We are unable to commission signage or the documentation required for our staff and users of the pool. Social distancing rules have significantly hindered our maintenance work and pool cleaning.
Visitor Experience and Finance
Furthermore, we believe that the visitor experience would be compromised by social distancing. Were we to adhere to the draft guidelines recommended by Swim England, we’d be required to implement segregation within the pool, a one way system, and strictly manage capacity during opening hours. This is not how the pool is generally run and we feel it is contrary to the family experience we encourage. Our changing rooms would need to be closed and the fencing would have to remain in place to bar access to all but authorised entrances. This would require extra staffing and training which we are unable to commit to until an opening date is advised.
Finally our finances are in a precarious state. We have lost significant revenue over May, June and July as car park numbers are down and donations received have all but stopped. Opening the pool for a compressed season with extra cost would have worsened this position to the point where we would need an additional £25,000 to fill the deficit and fund the pool opening.
These issues led our team to the decision that to open the pool was deemed untenable for financial, logistical and safety reasons. It has not been reached lightly and we thank all of those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the opening happen. But we’ve reached the point where opening is simply not feasible.
As a result we are now focused on 2021. We’re determined to make next year our best season ever. As a team we are now focused on using this period of closure to improve everything we can surrounding the pool and its management. It’s a fantastic resource at the heart of the Brixham community.
As always, we are indebted to our volunteers. We thank those that give their time, experience and donations to help us run the pool and look forward to doing their efforts justice in 2021. If you share our disappointment, please help us either via a donation or an offer of help. Every little counts and we still have significant work to do in order to open in 2021.
Even though the pool is closed, and strictly out of bounds, the coast path is still open to the public, as is Shoals Cafe. The pool benefits from car park revenue and it remains open all year round. The green next to the car park is an ideal picnic spot. Please come and enjoy the surroundings, but do bear in mind social distancing and the current regulations at all times. Keep alert and stay safe.
We’re always keen to hear from you on any matter concerning the pool.
If you want to discuss this further or can offer to help us come back stronger then please feel free to get in touch via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Dave on 07799 414702.
Shoalstone Pool, Berry Head Road, Brixham,TQ5 9FT
We are always keen to hear your views and feedback. If you have something to tell us please do get in touch. New Volunteers are always welcome. We’re busy maintaining and improving the pool all year round.