Lido's swim season will start next weekend due to increase in popularity

PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 March 2019

Hundreds of people enjoyed the warm water at the lido. Picture: Portishead Open Air Pool

Hundreds of people enjoyed the warm water at the lido. Picture: Portishead Open Air Pool

Archant

An open-air pool which attracted tens of thousands of swimmers last summer will run for an extended season this year - but the lido is in need of more volunteers.

Portishead Open Air Pool will welcome swimmers a fortnight earlier than usual, opening its doors on April 6 for the summer season.

The move has been motivated by the increasing popularity of the heated pool, with more than 50,000 people taking a dip during the summer months of 2018.

Thousands more enjoyed heated swims over the winter, as Portishead Pool Community Trust oversaw its best year since taking over from North Somerset Council.

The pool will be open until the end of October, while Café Lido will be open every day throughout the summer from tomorrow (Monday).

But the trust is in need of more helpers to cope with its booming popularity and a drop-in session on volunteering opportunities will be held at the pool, in Esplanade Road, tomorrow from 10am-2pm.

Spokesman Barbara Thatcher said: “Our volunteers are vital to the continuing success of the pool and café and we always welcome new helpers for the reception, tuck shop and café.

“Full training will be given, and we don’t ask for a regular commitment. It’s a great way to make new friends and play a part in this great community venture.

“Last year was the busiest season since the trust took over in 2009; with more than 53,000 visitors during the summer months and thousands more attending special Christmas and new year heated swims.

“As well as the usual charity events and school galas, we introduced some new events like the open-air cinema, Halloween, and dogs and owners swim, which were massively popular and will certainly be on the agenda again this season.”

Almost ten years has passed since the pool was revamped by American TV star Ty Pennington for his Extreme Makovers series, and the trust plans to celebrate the anniversary.

Ms Thatcher added: “On May 25 we will be celebrating by holding an open day at the pool with live music, and a music fest in the evening in partnership with Gordano Breakfast Rotary Club.

“The daytime event will be free, but the music fest will be a ticketed event, with proceeds going to the pool boiler fund.”

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