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'Bear with us': Bosses trying to reopen Shrewsbury swimming baths safely

By Nick Humphreys | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Council bosses are trying to find a way to open Shrewsbury's swimming baths after facing several coronavirus-related obstacles.

The Quarry swimming baths in Shrewsbury

The Quarry swimming baths in Shrewsbury are still closed despite the government saying pools could reopen in July, but Shropshire Council says there are site specific reasons why the venue cannot yet reopen. Several other pools in the county have reopened.

The council say that the nature of the building itself, which is over 100 years old, makes it incredibly difficult to implement two-metre social distancing. The Shropshire Coumminty Leisure Trust is currently reviewing how it can put in place suitable one-way systems to allow access.

The authority also says that 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 a building that’s over 100 years old with limited space for 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.”

The closure for the coronavirus pandemic has allowed for storm damage repairs work to be completed, and additional essential repairs and maintenance to take place.

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Shrewsbury.

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