Portishead lido trying to make business ‘financially viable’

portishead lido trying to make business financially viable - Portishead lido trying to make business 'financially viable'

Bosses at Portishead Open Air Pool say they are ‘working around the clock’ to try and re-open the lido for business this summer.

Trustees at the lido say they are pulling out all the stops to try and open for a summer season, if they can make it financially viable.

A decision on whether the pool will re-open in some way is due to be made shortly.

However if the pool can open, when Government guidance allows, a visit to the lido will look very different.

portishead lido trying to make business financially viable 2 - Portishead lido trying to make business 'financially viable'

(Image: Barbara Thatcher)

Rather than packing on to the terraces and splashing in the pool it is likely people will be restricted to lane swimming only.

The lido may only open to adults with visits by families currently being reviewed due to social distancing guidelines.

Families may only be able to visit in their households or within existing social bubbles.

Swimming will be by pre-booking only and the number of people in the pool at any one time will also be restricted.

There is likely to only be limited changing room facilities with people only being able to use them to dry off and change when leaving the pool. No showers will be operational.

portishead lido trying to make business financially viable 3 - Portishead lido trying to make business 'financially viable'

(Image: Bristol Live)

The café is likely to open, with a reduced offering of takeaway snacks and outdoor toilets will also be available, but with extra cleaning.

The logistics to re-open the pool – and whether it will be financially viable due to the restrictions and much lower usage – are currently being discussed.

A pool spokesman said: “This season, with all the good weather, would have undoubtedly been one of our best seasons ever.

“We are doing the best we can and working round the clock to look at ways to open the pool this summer.

“We have received a grant from the Government to help with our fixed costs and we do have reserves.

portishead lido trying to make business financially viable 4 - Portishead lido trying to make business 'financially viable'

(Image: Barbara Thatcher)

“But we need to make sure we don’t spend those reserves because we are financially supporting the pool to open.

“It is likely we will be able to do something, but we cannot guarantee this.

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“We have been following the government guidance and that of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS).

“We are currently looking at all different scenarios, working on costings and a decision will be made shortly.”

The closure due to the lockdown has seen a number of events at the lido cancelled including the National Swimathon in March and the full moon and summer solstice swims.

Other casualties have been open air screenings and the dog and owners swim, all of which raise money for the pool.

The current Government advice is that all swimming pools, including open air pools, must remain closed to comply with social distancing.

The pool was taken over by the trust in 2009 after a successful Save the Open Air Pool (STOP) campaign backed by the Bristol Post

portishead lido trying to make business financially viable 9 - Portishead lido trying to make business 'financially viable'

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The campaign saw the local community come together to take over the pool and facilitate – with the help of the extreme makeover TV show fronted by star Ty Pennington – a £250,000 makeover of the facility.

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Since the council agreed to hand over the pool to the trust, the lido has gone from strength to strength with visitor numbers soaring.

The pool is now used for many activities – from film screenings, charity galas and as a location for film and TV companies.

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