Popular community pool to temporarily close over soaring energy prices

Energy bills have increased by 150% compared to last year, and in 2023 are forecast to continue to rise.

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A much-loved community pool at an Aberdeen leisure centre is set to temporary closure as energy costs to keep it running soar.

Sport Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council have announced that Get Active @ Beach Leisure Centre’s pool will close at the end of August.

While they stressed the pool will remain functional over the summer holidays, energy costs to keep it running have hit the roof, with most recent numbers approaching half a million pounds.

The pool’s flume slides and wave pool mechanisms will continue to remain closed due to continuous failures.

The rest of the centre will remain open, but it is unclear if the authorities will reopen the pool come summer 2023.

Sport Aberdeen managing director, Alistair Robertson, said: “Leisure operators throughout the UK are facing a crisis with many swimming pools closing because of rising energy costs.

“We have not taken this decision lightly, however with Get active @ Northfield due to open late summer we know we will be able to move the vast majority of our programme of swimming lessons to other pools across the city.

“All staff affected will have their jobs secured at other venues and the management team is working hard to ensure that there is a smooth transition of lessons to other facilities.”

On opening in late summer this year, the Get Active @ Northfield facility will take on the load of customers hoping to access a swimming pool locally.

Robertson added that the closure will be reviewed in spring 2023, in hopes that the “situation will have eased”.

Earlier this month, a coalition of bodies in the physical activity sector wrote to the UK Government calling for urgent support to save leisure facilities from going under – as they face a rise in energy costs of up to 150% on last year.

In the letter, the organisations issued a stark warning about the consequences if facilities do not receive urgent relief from the Government.

Councillor Alex Nicoll, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council said: “We fully appreciate the pressures facing Sport Aberdeen and everyone else who runs swimming pools across the city. We understand that this is a pragmatic decision in exceptional times.

“If energy pressures ease, we hope that the pool will reopen in the spring.”

Sport Aberdeen has contacted all participants in the Learn to Swim programme based at Get active @ Beach Leisure Centre to directly inform them on reallocation plans.

Around 70,000 children across the country will be offered water safety lessons during the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign this year, as part of the Learn to Swim programme – a partnership between Scottish Water and Scottish Swimming.