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Faversham Pools indoor swimming pool to reopen in September

Bosses of a popular indoor pool have set a date for when it is set to reopen.

Trustees of Faversham Pools have announced it will welcome back swimmers on September 7.

The indoor pool will reopen in September. Picture: Alan Langley
The indoor pool will reopen in September. Picture: Alan Langley

But the outdoor pool is to remain shut all year - as the board said reopening with social distancing in place is not financially viable.

With almost a quarter-of-a-million visitors each year, the centre is one of Faversham’s most popular attractions.

The outdoor attraction has thrived since it opened 56 years ago. Last year, it was named the second-best lido in the country in a Daily Mail ranking of the nation’s favourite swimming spots.

Pools manager Roger Lake said his team is working hard to ensure the experience is kept as normal as possible.

He said the schedule of events is largely unchanged, which includes aquacise, aquababes and the popular earlybird sessions.

But a raft of measures will be introduced to comply with social distancing rules.

"Swimmer numbers will be controlled, cleaning frequency will be significantly increased, and all swimming will take place in double-width lanes," he said. "This way, we can ensure distancing in the water.

"With fewer showers and changing rooms available to help us maintain safe social distancing, we’re also asking swimmers where possible to turn up ‘swim-ready’ with swimwear under their clothes, and to shower at home both before and after their swim.

"The more people who can help us in this way, the more we will be able to lessen the demand on our otherwise high-use areas."

The centre - a registered charity - was forced to close on March 22 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The outdoor pool will remain closed until next year. Picture: Poppy Boorman/Faversham Pools
The outdoor pool will remain closed until next year. Picture: Poppy Boorman/Faversham Pools

It now faces a "significant gap" in finances after it lost this summer's season.

The charity launched a fundraising appeal in April, to support it while it is closed.

The appeal, which invites swimmers to donate the cost of their usual swim, has so far raised £5,500.

Swale council has gifted a grant to the charity as it saw its revenue evaporate.

Chairman Geoff Wade said the support from the authority and swimmers has been "absolutely invaluable".

But he warned that the charity was "not out of the woods yet".

"We still face a significant gap in our finances due to the loss of this summer’s season, and will be continuing to fundraise in the run-up to our outdoor pool opening in 2021," he added.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

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