Pool's future to be aired

A SPECIAL working party is to be set up to launch a fact-finding mission into the running costs and future possibilities for Portishead's open air pool. The group, which was due to officially be launched this week, comes at the same time as all of Portish

A SPECIAL working party is to be set up to launch a fact-finding mission into the running costs and future possibilities for Portishead's open air pool.The group, which was due to officially be launched this week, comes at the same time as all of Portishead's district councillors pledged their support to improve the seafront attraction and keep it open.The pool, which opens between May and September and is run buy 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 earlier this year.The attraction, which last year welcomed 23,000 visitors through its doors, was built in the 1960s and is now in need of an upgrade.Portishead councillor David Pasley said no decision could be made on the pool until the exact running costs were provided.Cllr Pasley said: "I do not feel that any decision should be made about the future of the pool until we are in complete control of the facts."All the district councillors feel that the pool should be kept open and between us we want to examine the possibilities."Suggestions put forward so far to improve the attraction have included using the pool as an ice rink during the winter months.Other proposals including upgrading and letting out the existing cafe facilities in a bid to boost revenue.Cllr Pasley added: "We need to know what the figures are and consider how we can generate more revenue at the pool."We would like to see the building improved and one of the things which could bring in some more money is the catering facilities. "It could be that this part of the pool could be let out to a quality restaurant and the money ploughed back into developing and improving the pool."The working party is due to report back to council later this year.


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