As part of an ongoing commitment to maintaining high quality swimming facilities in Bristol - and alongside concerns raised by the operator about mounting costs to run the facility - the council is proposing closing Jubilee Pool in Knowle.
The proposal follows significant investment in leisure facilities in the south of Bristol, and the ongoing challenges presented by Covid-19 to safely re-open swimming pools and gyms.
Due to the size and age of the building, a minimum of £260,000 was already needed to allow the building to function and prevent further deterioration. Added to this would be the costs of making Covid-secure adaptions to ensure the building can operate safely.
Parkwood Leisure, the operator, has worked with the council to assess all options but determined the facility has no long-term viable option for operating cost effectively.
Situated in Knowle, Jubilee Pool was built in 1937 and had a small gym added in 2012. The site has no parking and very limited space which also prevents a challenge for the operator to create enough revenue to support the ongoing management of the pool.
A consultation on the proposed closure launched today (12 August), running until Wednesday, 7 October, seeking the views of local residents and those who use Jubilee Pool.
Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Health, said: “The council has committed to better connect people to accessible and affordable leisure facilities so they can be active and lead healthier lives. This commitment has seen us invest heavily in south Bristol facilities including Hengrove Leisure Centre.
“As part of our strategy we must carefully balance the needs of the whole community with the costs to taxpayers and ensure we invest in sustainable and higher quality swimming facilities. With council funding stretched like never before and having considered a number of alternatives, we believe that the closure of Jubilee Pool is the best option, ensuring that users are aware of the facilities available to them at nearby Hengrove and Bristol South.
“This consultation is important so we can better understand how people feel about the proposed closure, and what is needed to mitigate any impact it will have on people’s lives if the closure goes ahead.”
Jubilee Pool, along with all the other swimming pools and leisure centres in Bristol, was closed in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Parkwood Leisure, which manages Jubilee Pool, has been financially supported by the council to offset lost revenue during the closure. Jubilee Pool will be remaining shut during the consultation period.
Members of Jubilee Pool will be able to use the facilities at Hengrove Leisure Centre using their Jubilee membership during the consultation period when Hengrove Leisure Centre reopens.
Responses to the consultation can be given online at www.bristol.gov.uk/jubileepool.
Coronavirus restrictions mean the council is not currently able to offer face-to-face opportunities to discuss the proposal, but phone surgeries are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 0117 92 23320 to speak to the council.
For a paper copy or to receive the information in an alternative format, contact the council on the number or email above.