Topsham Swimming Pool could close down

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 January 2016

The traditional New Year's Day Swim took place inTopsham Pool. Ref ext 0002-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

The traditional New Year's Day Swim took place inTopsham Pool. Ref ext 0002-01-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

Archant

Topsham Swimming Pool is under threat of closure because of high running costs and a lack of volunteers, chairman Colin Long has revealed.

The pool has operated in the town since 1979, but Colin admits maintaining it is becoming increasingly difficult for its ageing committee members.

The chairman said he would be ‘devastated’ if the pool were to close, and Topsham would lose a facility in which residents took ‘immense pride’.

Colin, of Clyst Road, said: “There is a risk we might close, as we need more involvement from the local community and the younger generation.

“I’d be devastated if we closed. I have been chairman for the past 12 years and before that I was treasurer in 1973, when we were trying to get the pool built.

“Members of the committee, on average, are 60 or 65 and do a lot of the work. The pool is looking tired and needs improvements. We need £100,000 to get new solar panels and to build a family changing room.

“Topsham people are very proud of the pool, but it can’t run on fresh air. If we don’t get the money – the other alternative is that we restrict the opening days of the pool.

“The police quite like us as well as we keep the youngsters off the streets, especially at weekends.”

The 76-year-old said government regulations, increased costs and changes in society were to blame for the pool’s plight.

Explaining why the pool’s income had shrunk since the 1970s, Colin continued: “Government regulation hasn’t helped. We used to be able to take 120 people into the pool, but now we are only allowed 80 in the water at any one time, which reduced our income by a third.

“We also have to pay holiday entitlement to the students, even if it is just for a day’s work.

“Also, with two parents working these days, there aren’t as many people around in the week with some spare time.”

To donate or volunteer at Topsham Swimming Pool, call Colin on 01392 875140, email info@topshampool.com or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Topsham-Outdoor-Swimming-Pool-120955057919340.


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