Shropshire Council says it is working hard with partners to find a way for the Quarry Swimming Pool in Shrewsbury town centre to be reopened safely.
The council and Shropshire Community Leisure Trust (The Trust) are working to provide a safe environment for users, staff and the local community.
Implementing the Government guidance for reopening has been extremely challenging across the UK. Only 1 in 5 swimming pools were able to open at the end of July 2020. The Trust was only able to open one swimming facility, and the council were only recently able to reopen the facilities it directly manages.
While other facilities across the county have reopened, there are reasons for the continued closure of The Quarry that are specific to the site.
Firstly, the nature of the building itself makes it incredibly difficult to implement 2m social distancing as per the Government guidelines. The Trust is currently reviewing how they can put in place suitable one-way systems to allow access.
Secondly, none of the areas of the building, apart from the pool halls, comply with the COVID-19-secure guidance for ventilation – no access is therefore currently allowable to reception area, foyer, circulation areas, fitness suite, studio or spa. The council will be installing ventilation units but, due to the considerable cost, will have to prioritise the areas this applies to.
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “We are committed to getting The Quarry Swimming Pool open again,but it must be done safely during these challenging times.
“We fully understand and share the frustration people are feeling, and we’re doing everything in our power to reopen the facility for public use. Along with the Trust, we’re experiencing significant challenges that you may expect from an older building with limited space for 2m social distancing. The nature of the building will result in extremely limited usage, but we’re expecting feedback shortly. Thank you for being so patient but please bear with us.”
Chris Stanbrook, contract manager for the Shropshire Community Leisure Trust, said:
“The safety of our customers and the people who work at our centres is our number one priority. We will not compromise on this issue, and as soon as we are confident that it is safe to do so, for colleagues and customers, we will be looking to reopen this much-loved local facility.”