Plug to be pulled on open air pool?

PUBLISHED: 14:09 17 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:28 24 May 2010

Cllr Andy Wright outside the pool.

Cllr Andy Wright outside the pool.

PORTISHEAD could lose its open air pool - after it was revealed it costs more than £300,000 to open the facility for just 16 weeks of the year

PORTISHEAD could lose its open air pool - after it was revealed it costs more than £300,000 to open the facility for just 16 weeks of the year.The pool, which opens between May and September and is run by contractors DC Leisure, costs North Somerset Council a total of £316,370 to run each year, with the authority receiving just £3,900 in revenue from the seafront attraction.The true costs of running the pool - the equivalent of £19,773 for every week it is open - were revealed following investigations by North Somerset Council Community Services Policy and Scrutiny Panel, which said the only way of reducing the costs of the pool was to close it.Councillors suggested ways of opening the facility all year round should be considered, such as using it as an ice rink or a skatepark.The suggestion will now go forward to North Somerset executive committee for further discussion.Councillor Andy Wright said: "I am sure far better use could be made of Portishead's open air pool."It is only open during high summer and for the rest of the year just sits there costing the taxpayer money in repairs and insurance."Surely it could be put to better use and the people of Portishead and the surrounding area get better value out of it.""The council is currently looking at improving facilities for young people in the town and this could present an ideal opportunity."It was my son Joel who said he would like to see it open more often and came up with the idea of using it for other activities."I can't imagine it would cost a lot of money to put a different floor in which could be used for skateboarding or even for an ice rink."Revenue generated from users could be ploughed back into the maintenance of the pool."The cafe area could also be open, providing a place for young people to sit and chat."But it is not just the open air pool which could be under threat in the town, as councillors are also reviewing running costs of community buildings, including Somerset Hall, Avon Way Hall and Slade Road hall.The committee is recommending selling off or sub letting some of its halls which are running at a loss and ploughing cash into improving other community facilities.Portishead councillor David Pasley said: "The town is already outgrowing its facilities. The last thing we need is for our halls or pool to close."A viability study should be carried out to look at what else the pool could be used for because once these sort of facilities are lost, they are lost forever."l What do you think? Could better use be made out of Portishead Open Air Pool? What facilities do you think could be incorporated at the pool? Let us know and write to us at Portishead Times, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW or e-mail us as nstimes@archant.co.uk

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