Council urged to reopen Kenilworth's outdoor swimming pool this summer

Town councilor Richard Dickson hopes his motion will encourage Warwick District Council to recognise the "significant benefit to many residents and visitors" of reopening the facility in Abbey Fields

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 1:41 pm
The outdoor swimming pool at Abbey Fields in Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Town Council will consider a motion put forward by one of its members to encourages the reopening of the town's outdoor swimming pool this summer.

Last week, Warwick District Council (WDC) announced it is carrying out a review to see if it can cover the costs of repairing and running the outdoor pool at Abbey Fields so it can re-open after the next step of the Government's road map out of lockdown on June 21.

Now town councillor Richard Dickson has put forward a motion which will go before the town council on Thursday June 17 which asks that "this {the town council} council writes to Warwick District Council to welcome WDC’s announcement that it is reviewing its earlier decision not to re-open the district’s only public outdoor pool this summer and to express the hope that it will decide that the significant benefit to many residents and visitors of doing so outweigh the costs."

Cllr Andrew Day, the leader of WDC, has said: "Initial inspections have revealed that extensive repairs are required to return the outdoor pool to a safe operating condition, following an extended period of closure.

"In addition to this expense, we will also weigh-up the additional operating costs, taking into account the daily footfall during comparable seasons in previous years, to assess the public benefit of reopening the outdoor pool."

"Guided by advice from Swim England, our priority continues to be the safe operating of the indoor pool, allowing as much availability as possible for children to learn the important life skill of being able to swim.”

The Kenilworth Lido Campaign Group has raised concerns about the re-opening of the outdoor swimming pool in what could be the last season before the facility is removed.

The campaign group's members wrote to all Warwick district councillors in February asking for WDC to make every effort to ready the outdoor pool for 'what may turn out to be its final season of use' if the plans to demolish it later in the year are approved by the authority.

Group chairwoman Ruth Colgan said: "It is particularly frustrating to see other UK lidos making every effort to open early this year, including Woodgreen Leisure Centre in Banbury run by Legacy Leisure on behalf of Cherwell District Council, to allow people to enjoy the known health benefits of outdoor swimming while WDC seems content to stall on the issue.

"It is illogical that the council can now open the indoor pool prior to its demolition, but not, it seems, the outdoor pool."

Many of the numerous objections to the plans for the Abbey Fields site urged WDC to rethink its plans for the outdoor pool.

Ruth added: "Should WDC’s plans come to fruition it would be a crying shame to deny people the opportunity of swimming outdoors one last time in what would be 125th year of open air swimming in Abbey Fields."