Date given for swimming pool in Dunmow to reopen

Councillor Alex Armstrong

Councillor Alex Armstrong - Credit: Archant

The swimming pool at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre will finally reopen - on Monday, October 5.

The pool will initially only be available for Swim School sessions, lane swimming and some clubs including Dunmow Atlantis, with restricted capacity.

Pool users have to book their session in advance and are being encouraged to arrive ready to swim.

The changing rooms, showers and lockers will be available but those not in use will be locked to ensure social distancing, and frequent cleaning checks will be done.

The Great Dunmow Leisure Centre and the Lord Butler Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden are run by 1Life on behalf of Uttlesford District Council.

Both leisure centres were closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pools were allowed to reopen on July 25.

Saffron Walden’s swimming poool reopened on Tuesday, September 1. 1Life said they were reopening facilities in a phased way.

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Mark Braithwaite, CEO of 1Life said: “Re-opening our swimming pools is something we’ve been working hard towards and I am sure this announcement will be well received by our local swimmers and swim clubs.

“We want to ensure that customers feel comfortable and safe using our facilities and will continue to review and monitor our swimming pool operation.

“We’d like to thank the community for its continued support.”

Councillor Alex Armstrong, portfolio holder for Sports, Leisure, Education and Arts at Uttlesford District Council, had apologised to a Dunmow Atlantis representative for the pool being closed at a town council meeting and said he was pushing hard for the pool to be reopened.

In a statement on the pool reopening date, he said: “We are delighted that the pool will be opening at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre on Monday, October 5. We know it is a real asset to the community, and that residents have missed the facility whilst it has been closed.”

Figures from Swim England last week found almost a quarter of public pools remain shut.

Chief executive Jane Nickerson said the situation is “extremely disappointing” and that many of the pools that are open are running reduced pool programmes.

She has reiterated her plea to Government for more financial support as part of the #SaveLeisure campaign, alongside organisations Community Leisure UK and UK Active.