Immediate future secured until March 2022 – but supporters say “fight is not over yet”
A popular Knowle swimming pool has been saved from closure for a third time – following a petition and campaign by local users.
Bristol City Council announced this week that Jubilee Swimming Pool would re-open after lockdown – and its future was secure until March 2022.
The council said it was “continuing to work closely with the community to find a long-term solution” to keeping the pool open.
This follows a consultation which was extended until 8 November and a heated debate about the pool at Full Council Meeting in September.
A petition to save the much-loved facility had reached well over the 3,500 signatures needed for the matter to be discussed by full council.
Following the meeting, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees met with the Friends of Jubilee Pool and set up a cross-party working group of councillors – to look at the pool’s long-term future.
Julie Laming – who has been leading the fight to save the pool – said the Friends of Jubilee Pool and the Save Jubilee Pool campaign groups were “so pleased” it would re-open at the end of lockdown.
She said: “Having fought the closure of the pool for the third time in recent years, the users of the pool and the residents of South Bristol have demonstrated yet again the importance and love of one its most important community facilities.
“We would like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone that worked so hard to save Jubilee Pool again.
“To the cross-party working group, to all those that lobbied councillors, produced artwork, produced, printed and delivered leaflets, joined the demos, submitted and made statements, responded to the consultation, put up posters, sang songs, made videos, appeared on TV and radio to speak out against closure and researched the history of the pool thank you: you saved your pool.
“But the fight is not yet over. We hope you will continue to support the campaign in 2021 as we work towards securing a sustainable, long term future for the pool.”
The pool has been unable to reopen since the beginning of the first COVID-19 lockdown in March last year.
Bristol City Council said it needed investment and operators Parkwood Leisure had found it “financially unviable”, partly due to the effects of COVID-19 and running costs.
But after hearing the views of the local community, the council has now agreed a more cost-effective plan with Parkwood – so the pool can stay open until next year when its contract runs out.
Until then, the council has pledged to “continue working with interested groups” to find a long-term solution for the pool.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “It is clear that members of the local community feel strongly that Jubilee Pool should be kept open, so we have done all we can to reach an agreement with the operator so it can reopen after lockdown.
“With the immediate future of Jubilee Pool now secured, work must continue to make it financially sustainable in the long term. The future of the pool is dependent on finding a community-led solution, such as community asset transfer.
“Local people are without doubt best placed to increase the visitor numbers that the pool needs to sustain its future, as proven by the success of other community groups in Bristol.”