Gourock Pool extension until October

GOUROCK’S historic outdoor pool will stay open until the end of October if coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Councillors on Inverclyde Council’s emergency policy and resources executive sub-committee unanimously agreed to splash out £36,000 subsidising an extension to the traditional swimming season as soon as the Scottish Government gives the green light.

The Albert Road pool is usually open from May to the first week in September each year and attracts thousands of visitors to Gourock.

But operators Inverclyde Leisure have been unable to start the 2020 season due to the coronavirus lockdown, which began in March.

Gourock Pool

With the Scottish Government expected to announce further easing of Covid-19 restrictions soon allowing pools to reopen, the council has stepped in to subsidise an extended season until 31 October to make up for the lost months.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council and chair of the P&R exec committee, said: “Gourock Outdoor Pool is a jewel in the crown for Inverclyde as a visitor attraction and a local amenity for residents across the district.

“So many people have missed out on a large chunk of the open-air swimming season so far and this extension will hopefully allow pool users to make up for lost time.

“It’s also an opportunity for people from outwith the area to discover Inverclyde and Gourock Pool – one of our many attractions – at a time when we’re being encouraged to substitute summer holidays abroad for a staycation due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The council has funded an extension to the Gourock Pool swimming season until the end of September since 2017 in response to public demand.

Councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld, Inverclyde’s sports champion, said: “After so many months stuck indoors during lockdown, it’s important that we do all we can to encourage people back outside to safely enjoy things like our historic Gourock Outdoor Pool once again.

“The pool is good for the health and wellbeing of those who use it but is also a key visitor attraction in which to bring people to Inverclyde to enjoy what we have to offer and support the local economy.

“I was delighted to support the proposal at committee.”

Further guidance on the reopening of leisure facilities, including swimming pools, is due from the government soon.

It is expected to cost around £36k to keep Gourock Pool open until the end of October based on an end of August restart.