Brightlingsea Swimming Pool will not be opening at the end of May 2016 after a survey uncovered serious damage to the outdoor facility.
Ian Block, the Brightlingsea town councillor with responsibility for the pool, said: “After a survey carried out by Tendring District Council, it was found that the pipes had collapsed. It will cost between £35,000 and £40,000 to carry out the repairs.”
Cllr Block said the repair cost is on top of the £65,000 the pool costs to run each year – £10,000 of which comes from Brightlingsea and the remainder from Tendring.
Last year, each individual visit to the pool was subsidised by approximately £7.60 per person and, according to Tendring Council, no other sports facility in the district is subsidised by more than £1.90 per visit.
Tendring District Council and Brightlingsea Town Council are currently looking into the future funding of the pool and the matter is due to be discussed fully at TDC’s Cabinet Meeting on June 10 and a further announcement will be made following that meeting.
There were significant issues with a gradual loss of water from the pool at the end of last season. Mick Skeels, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Events, said: “The investigations into the leakage have revealed that some sections of the pipework have actually collapsed and must be replaced,” he said.
He added: “The pipes are all buried beneath the concrete slabs around the pool itself and these will all have to come up. There is also a fair chance that once we have removed the slabs there will be additional work which needs to be undertaken.”
Cllr Skeels said that the Council has a preliminary quote for the essential works and this is around £36,000 – that includes £20,000 to replace the pipes and a further £16,000 for all the groundworks.
“In the current financial climate we really need to assess where we are with Brightlingsea Pool and where we are going to go,” he added.
“At this point in time the facility is not only leaking water – but hard cash – and this cannot continue. We will be discussing the matter and all the various options will be considered.”

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