Shoalstone pool to remain closed for 2020

Opening Shoalstone pool for a greatly reduced season, with extra cost, would have needed an addition

Opening Shoalstone pool for a greatly reduced season, with extra cost, would have needed an additional 25,000 - Credit: Archant

Brixham's Shoalstone seawater pool must remain closed for the remainder of 2020, it has been announced.

The pool team had worked on a reopening plan targeted at early July - based upon an assumption that operations could begin from July 4 within guidelines drafted by Swim England.

However, swimming pools were excluded from the July 4 Covid=19 restriction relaxations.

A spokesman for the directors of Shoalstone Pool said: 'The official guidance as to how the pool can operate in a Covid-19 compliant way is similar to the draft guidelines recommended by Swim England. Our discussions and route to making the decision was based on those guidelines.

'As an entirely volunteer-run organisation, we have worked hard to produce opening plans that were viable.

'We were 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.

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'Social distancing rules have significantly hindered our maintenance work and pool cleaning.

'Furthermore, we believe the visitor experience would be compromised by social distancing.

'We would be required to implement segregation within the pool, a one-way system, and strictly manage capacity during opening hours. This 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 were unable to commit to until an opening date was announced.

'Finally, our finances are in a precarious state. We have lost significant revenue over May, June and July.

'Opening the pool for a greatly reduced season, with extra cost, would have worsened this position to the point where we would need an additional £25,000 to fill the deficit.

'As a result we are now focused on 2021. We are determined to make next year our best season ever.'