Whitchurch Swimming Centre is to remain closed until social distancing guidelines for indoor sports facilities related to the coronavirus pandemic are eased.
Shropshire Community Leisure Trust Ltd says it will remain closed due to the layout of the centre not allowing sufficient space for social distancing.
Chris Stanbrook, Contract Manager for the Trust, said: “Following extensive investigations into the feasibility of reopening Whitchurch Swimming Pool, and with the safety of our customers and employees at the forefront of our thinking, we have decided it is not possible for us to reopen the centre at this point in time.
“Due to the layout of the building, we have identified that it would be impossible to enforce the required social distancing regulations, as laid down by the Government for indoor sports facilities. The size and layout of the centre does not permit suitable one-way systems, and does not allow customers to maintain 2 metre distancing in key parts of the building, including the reception, corridor, and spectator areas.
“Additionally, the changing rooms at the centre are only permitted to hold a maximum of four people, which does not allow us to introduce adequate people flow systems, preventing us from providing a COVID-19-safe changing environment for customers.
“We realise the centre not reopening at this point will be disappointing news to many local people, but until social distancing is removed, the pool will remain closed. When the Government removes the requirement for indoor sports facilities to enforce social distancing, we will be looking to reopen the facility.”
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “We fully appreciate that the prolonged closure of the swimming pool in Whitchurch is frustrating for local residents, and it’s not a decision that has been taken lightly. We hope you’ll agree that the safety of staff, visitors and local residents has to be the top priority.
“Once Government guidelines on social distancing are eased, we will be able to revisit reopening the facility.”
Shropshire Community Leisure Trust runs five facilities in the county. Currently, two of its centres are open, Shrewsbury Sports Village and Oswestry Leisure Centre. Its facilities at Market Drayton Swimming Pool, The Quarry Swimming & Fitness Centre and Whitchurch remain closed.