Pool party to celebrate decade since Portishead Lido saved

PUBLISHED: 08:25 06 May 2019

Portishead Open Air Pool enjoyed record-breaking visitor numbers over Easter. Picture: Portishead Open Air Pool

Portishead Open Air Pool enjoyed record-breaking visitor numbers over Easter. Picture: Portishead Open Air Pool


Famous DJs will lead a music night to celebrate Portishead Open Air Pool’s 10th anniversary this month.

DJs Mike Reed and Tony Prince will be joined by musicians from the area for a party on May 25.

The event will make a decade since volunteers set up a charitable trust and took on the running of the lido, saving it from closure.

A trust spokesman said: “During the day it will be free to swim in the 33-metre heated pool, with musical entertainment throughout the day.

“Trustees and other volunteers will be on hand to show visitors around, including tours of the plant room for those keen to what goes on behind the scenes. You will be able to join the trust for a small membership fee to help ensure this wonderful facility keeps going for future generations, or volunteer to help with any aspect of running the pool or café.

It's amazing to recall how close this much-loved facility came to being demolished in 2008 after North Somerset Council decided it was uneconomical to run, and the land should be sold off for redevelopment. The community however begged to differ, and a Save The Open Air Pool (STOP) campaign was mounted.

“The strength of feeling in the town was such the council eventually agreed to the formation of a charitable trust to run the pool on behalf of the community.

“The story attracted the interest of a television company and the result was a televised makeover Ty's Great British Adventure which gave a huge boost to community effort to rescue the pool from years of neglect.

“Ten years on, the pool's fortunes have been transformed.

“Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated band of volunteers, we now have a new pool liner and modern plant, upgraded changing rooms and a thriving tuck shop.

“The café too is now run partly by volunteers and is very popular with day trippers and swimmers alike. “

“Visitor numbers have soared from a low point of 10,000 in 2008 to a record 58,000 in 2018.

“The 2019 heated season got off to a fantastic start with record numbers visiting the lido during the Easter heatwave, and more than 1,000 swimmers on Easter Monday alone.”

Tickets, priced £12-15, will be available on the night, or from the pool reception and www.eventbrite.co.uk

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