EXCLUSIVE: Path cleared to open Jubilee Pool before Christmas

December 01 2020
EXCLUSIVE: Path cleared to open Jubilee Pool before Christmas

Campaigners have been urging the council to reopen the pool while the debate about its future continues and now local councillor Gary Hopkins has been told the facility can reopen by mid December.

by Rich Coulter
Campaigners fighting to save Jubilee Pool in Knowle from permanent closure have been told it can reopen again before Christmas.
Jubilee Pool has been shut since the first lockdown in March.
Bristol City Council previously said it cannot afford to reopen it and launched a public consultation in August on its permanent closure.
Campaigners have been urging the council to reopen the pool while the debate about its future continues and now local councillor Gary Hopkins has been told the facility can reopen by mid December.
Cllr Hopkins said it was vital that pool users now take the opportunity to show the council how popular it is for the community.
He said that the council has been paying to keep the facility 'safe' but when it was pointed out that these costs are equal to the costs of reopening, the chief executive Mike Jackson agreed that as long as operator Parkwood was happy, there was no reason not to reopen the pool.
Cllr Hopkins said: "The operators are happy to reopen and we think this can be done in a couple of weeks once checks have been done to the pool.
"There is now no logical reason not to reopen. We have been asking for this for some time now and it is important that users now use the facility.
"Parkwood have been struck by the strength of public feeling since the pool has been closed."
The Friends of Jubilee Pool said they welcomed this latest statement from the Council and are cautiously optimistic.
Spokeswoman Jo Franks said: "Only when the doors of the pool are finally open, however, will we have cause for celebration.
"We have always insisted that there is no reason why the pool should not re-open post lockdown.
"And we have proven how important this facility is for the health and well-being of so many people; not just for a place to exercise but for their mental health and a sense of community.
"During these uncertain times, the Council should be prioritising accessible facilities such as Jubilee, not closing them.
"We hope that both BCC and Parkwood will now honour their existing contract until 2022 and we are happy to work with them to provide a facility which the community deserves."
The reopening comes after the cross-party group of 15 councillors demanded the site be reopened while its long-term future is decided.
The group, which includes six Labour councillors, wrote to city mayor Marvin Rees in late October (before the most recent Covid lockdown) saying it was “unreasonable” to keep the pool closed for “no good reason” while waiting for the Labour administration to make a decision on the future of the pool beyond 2022.