Reopening date confirmed for historic Bristol swimming pool

The finishing touches are being applied to a historic swimming pool in Bristol as its long-awaited reopening nears.

Bristol South Swimming Pool in Southville, managed by Everyone Active and Bristol City Council, has been shut since late 2019.

It initially closed for structural work on its ceiling to take place, but contractors then uncovered further damage, before coronavirus restrictions and vandalism caused further setbacks.

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Everyone Active told Bristol Live in June the pool would finally reopen in “mid-July” after the £200,000 programme of repair works and improvements had been completed – and the exact date has now been confirmed.

Swimmers will finally be able to take to the pool again on Monday (July 19), the same day that nearly all lockdown restrictions will be eased.

A spokesperson for Everyone Active said: “Works are currently being finalised before the pool is returned to the local community on Monday, July 19, with the first swimming session scheduled to start at 7.30am.

“Everyone Active will be celebrating the reopening day by entering everyone who comes along for a swim on Monday into a prize draw to win an annual family membership for up to four people.”

Although visitors might not notice a huge difference aesthetically when they return, Everyone Active stressed a huge amount of vital structural work has gone into the renovation.

The 30.5m pool, set within a Grade II listed building, has been in operation since 1931.

In 2010 the baths featured in an episode of Sherlock, providing the setting for the stand-off between Holmes and James Moriarty in the first series finale of BBC’s modern-day adaptation.

The pool has been in operation since 1931
The pool has been in operation since 1931
(Image: Bristol Live)

It’s also rumoured to be where Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, who plays the detective’s eldest brother Mycroft, learned to swim.

Speaking last month, Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Communities, said: “The Bristol South pool is a well-used and much-loved community facility.

“It’s great news that we are on the verge of it reopening and we thank Everyone Active for the work they are putting in to make this happen next month.

“We understand it has been a frustrating time for many people to see the pool shut while these improvements have taken place.

“The extensive work carried out, plus the challenges of the pandemic, have meant a longer-than-anticipated closure but it was necessary to ensure the pool can still operate effectively and we hope it will continue to be enjoyed by many people.”

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