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Shap Swimming Pool reopens after major refurbishment

[B]ritain’s highest open air heated pool reopened on 2nd June after its major refurbishment and four years of hard work from its volunteers.

The pool has been fully relined and repainted and a new toddlers pool and sandpit has been provided for their younger customers. Special “Tiddlers” sessions will be run twice a week for under 5’s and their parents or expectant mums, and under 8 sessions will be run in addition to the general and adult swim sessions.

“We have taken on board what our customers have been asking for and want to try a few new things this year to see if they are popular”, said Jeanette Morris, Chair of the pool committee. “We want to help our younger customers gain their confidence in the water and splash about with their friends, without the risk of the bigger children bumping into them. The idea seems to have been really popular so far.”

The newly refurbished facilities also provide a new disabled/family toilet and changing area with baby change facilities and new privacy screens and cubicles in the showers and changing rooms. New shallow steps into the pool also enable the little ones or customers with limited mobility to get in and out of the pool more easily than in the past.

Funded by Sport England and other local fundraising activities, the refurbishment is nearly complete. “There are still things we want to do, like provide a rain shelter and slide, but the bad weather earlier in the year delayed the building work and we need to raise a bit more money first” said Jeanette. “However, the pool is now usable again and we are really pleased that we can reopen to the public for the summer. More funds will also enable us to paint the outside of the building, provide more seating and better pool toys in the future.”

Lily

Meet Lily. Lilly is 70 and has lived in Shap for 12 years. She volunteers in the shop at Shap Swimming Pool, the highest open air heated pool in Great Britain. However, to go swimming Lily had to drive a 20 mile round trip even though the pool is only a few hundred yards away from her house. She has never been able to swim in the pool until now.

Our new refurbishment with easy access steps mean that Lilly can now get in and out of the pool unaided. Previously she couldn’t get up and down the steep steps.

“The new pool is brilliant” says Lily. “I’ll now be able to use it all the time during the summer”

The newly refurbished facilities also provide a disabled/family toilet and changing area with baby change facilities and privacy screens and cubicles in the showers and changing rooms. We have a fully re-lined pool and a new baby pool and sandpit for our younger customers. Funded by Sport England and other local fundraising activities, the refurbishment is nearly complete and the pool reopened for the summer season on Saturday 2nd June.

Lily’s grandson, Luke, is one of the pool’s fully qualified lifeguards, on duty throughout our swimming sessions to help keep our customers safe. The pool employs 5 part time lifeguards during the summer to help young people get a step on the employment ladder. They can learn vocational skills that will help them in their future career.

Apart from these posts, the pool has been run for over 30 years by a team of dedicated volunteers. It is regularly in polls of the top 20 lidos in the UK and a great day out for all the family.

Fully qualified lifeguards are on duty throughout all swimming sessions. Opening times and details can be found at www.shapswimmingpool.co.uk

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