Lido’s work to make socially distanced swimming safe as profits take a hit
- Credit: Archant
A much-loved lido which spent £500,000 on upgrades for this season says it is working to make swimming safe in a socially distanced world.
Beccles Lido has for years been the perfect place to spend summer, with thousands flocking to the town’s open air pool each year.
There were hopes this year’s season would be the best yet, after £500,000 of refurbishments were made throughout winter.
But with no end in sight for the coronavirus lockdown, pool managers have had to think quickly to figure out how people can enjoy swimming without risk.
Matt Day, one of the lido’s managers, said: “The plan was to reopen on Saturday, May 23, for the bank holiday weekend, but obviously that is not possible.
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“The pool is ready to go with new in-pool lighting, five new outlets and drains, eight new surface skimmers, a new liner and a high-tech plant room which is almost fully automated. We have modernised and future proofed the pool.”
Although outdoor open water swimming was approved by the government on May 13, public swimming pools remain closed.
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“We’re devastated. With our upgrades, we had hoped to try out new night swimming events and Café del Mar nights with DJs playing music, but that’s all had to change,” Mr Day said.
“Whichever way you look at it, we’re taking quite a hit on our profits this season.”
However the lido is determined to find a way to make what it calls “socially distanced swimming” possible.
Mr Day said: “Both the government and World Health Organisation have said Covid-19 can’t be transmitted through treated water, so we’re just waiting on guidance from Swim England on when we can open again.
“When this guidance comes we may fall into the outdoor swimming category and be allowed to open.”
The Lido say lanes introduced as part of their refurbishment will be key, as individual swimmers or households can book a single lane to themselves, with another empty lane separating them from the nearest swimmer by two metres.
“We’re still rewriting documentation on proper cleaning regimes to keep people safe, and have bought plenty of PPE and hand sanitiser for staff and visitors,” Mr Day added.
The Lido urges anyone who can to support their fundraising events including a lottery to help keep them afloat through the summer. More details of their fundraising activities can be found on their Facebook page.