Bourne Outdoor Swimming Pool has just closed its doors after the summer season – and despite a challenging year, it will definitely be open in 2017.
The historic facility, in the Abbey Lawns, was open between May 28 and September 3 this year and got off to a flying start.
But prolonged periods of bad weather meant visitor numbers were highly variable. At one stage during summer, the pool – which is a charity run by a team of volunteers –was £20,000 in the red.
However, chairman Mandy Delaine-Smith said a strong end to the season meant it is likely that when all costs have been accounted for the pool will break even, or head slightly into profit.
She said: “It was certainly a stressful season for us. After one of our best ever opening weekends, we then saw a major slump in visitors when the weather took a turn for the worst.
“The unpredictable weather we have had this year has been a cause of major stress.
“Some weeks we had brilliant days where we took around £1,000 – only to be followed the next day by nothing.
“At our worst point, we were down £20,000 – but once all the bills are paid I’m hopeful we’ll break even or possibly go slightly into profit. It would only be by hundreds, not thousands, but that would be a great achievement considering the problems we have experienced.
“Fortunately, towards the end of the season the weather picked up and we had a lot more people through the doors.
“Overall, despite a very difficult period in the middle of the summer, I’d say it’s been the best season we’ve had for a long while.”
Back in July, the pool’s financial situation was so precarious that the volunteers who run it were considering closing the facility permanently. But Mandy has now confirmed it will be open again next year.
She added: “It’s been tough, but we’ve had fantastic support and I’d like to thank every single person who came along over the summer and supported us.
“I’ve also had lots of support emails and other messages from people who keen to let us know how valued the pool is to the people of Bourne.
“We’re always on the lookout for financial support because we receive no funding at all from the council or any other bodies.
“But I’m happy to say we’ll definitely be back next year. Fingers crossed for a good season in 2017.”
A giant inflatable toy used for popular under-15s fun nights will have to be replaced for next year due to wear and tear – at a cost of £4,000.
If you would like to help Bourne Outdoor Swimming Pool with fundraising, email enquiries@bourneoutdoor swimmingpool.org