Will Kenilworth's outdoor swimming pool reopen for what could be its last season?

Campaign Group is asking this question as Warwick District Council says that a decision is yet to be made

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 11:37 am
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 11:55 am

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

Group members have said that they welcome the news that Warwick District Council (WDC) has now agreed to open the town’s indoor swimming pool on April 12 in line with the Government’s 'roadmap' to end lockdown.

The timetable allowed for outdoor pools to reopen from Monday March 29 and 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.

The outdoor swimming pool at Abbey Fields in Kenilworth.

Responses have been received from individual councillors, some of whom are supportive of the campaign group’s request.

But the group has now called on WDC to "make its intentions clear and recognise the importance of outdoor swimming, particularly as COVID restrictions may curtail the holiday plans of local families".

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."

A WDC spokeswoman has said: "WDC can confirm that no decision has yet been taken on the reopening of the Abbey Fields outdoor pool.

"We are planning to reopen our indoor pools on April 12 in order to get the swimming lessons back up and running and to offer access to swimming for as many of our residents as possible.

"Currently, the Government guidance on social distancing and the layout of the pools does not allow the indoor and the outdoor pools to be safely open at the same time, but officers and councillors are keeping the situation regarding the recovery roadmap under review and how this will impact on the further reopening of sports and leisure facilities.

"It is a classic example of basing decisions on data not dates. Once a decision has been taken this will be shared with local people and organisations."