Swimmers 'unhappy' with cleanliness of local pool as usage increases

Satisfaction levels with Perth's leisure facilities have decreased from 74% in 2020/21 to 58% in 2022/23.

Swimmers ‘unhappy’ with cleanliness of Perth Leisure Pool as usage increases iStock

Swimmers have reported unhappiness with the cleanliness at their local pool.

While the number of people using Live Active Leisure’s facilities at Perth Pool has almost doubled, customers are showing increased dissatisfaction.

Earlier this year councillors shelved plans for the £110m PH20 project to replace Perth Leisure Pool and Dewars Centre – due to lack of funds – but an increasing number of customers are moaning about uncleanliness at the pool which operators say is “largely” due to the “age of the building and general wear and tear”.

Perth and Kinross Council’s Communities Service Annual Performance Report 2022/23 was put before PKC’s Environment, Infrastructure and Economic Development Committee on Monday, May 31.

Perth Leisure PoolLDRS

The report showed the number of attendances to pools, indoor and outdoor sport, and leisure facilities had almost doubled from 555,188 in 2021/22 to 1,059,466 in 2022/23 with the closure of Dundee’s Olympia Pool increasing the numbers using Perth Leisure Pool by 7%.

The report stated: “Activities include an uplift in swimming at Perth Leisure Pool, due to the Olympia Pool in Dundee being closed throughout the year, accounting for approximately seven per cent impact on total customer generated income.”

It also reported an increase in fitness membership with total membership numbers at the end of March 2023 increasing to 3,709.

Following the pandemic, most venues have returned to being fully operational with attendance at around 87% of pre-covid levels compared with an industry average of approximately 80-90%.

However, while customer usage has increased, satisfaction levels have decreased from 74% in 2020/21 to 58% in 2022/23.

Customers were unhappy with the standard of hygiene at Perth Leisure Pool and parking provision at Bell’s Sports Centre.

The report stated: “Regarding the decrease in satisfaction levels, customer surveys have shown issues with cleanliness, particularly in Perth Leisure Pool, which is mainly due to the older age of the building, and general wear and tear, which is causing an appearance of uncleanliness.

“The surveys have also shown customer dissatisfaction with the amount of parking available at Bell’s Sport Centre. The options to resolve this issue have been restrictive however Live Active Leisure has removed some grass areas to increase the number of spaces slightly.

“Additional bike racks have also been added to encourage cycling as a mode of transport to the centre.”

Following the meeting Live Active Leisure said it proactively seeks feedback from customers to “identify where improvements are necessary” and to try to address them.

A spokesperson for Live Active Leisure said: “Whilst it is never pleasing to read of any level of customer dissatisfaction, we pro-actively seek feedback from our customers to identify where improvements are necessary.

“Comments regarding cleanliness at Perth Leisure Pool have been shared with the Venue Management team to address and where we have the relevant contact details to provide a response. Unfortunately, there are some instances at Perth Leisure Pool where the age of the building and general wear and tear can give an appearance of uncleanliness.

“At Bell’s Sports Centre we have worked closely with Perth and Kinross Council to improve the surface of the car park and increase the total number of spaces by nine, which included additional disabled spaces.

“Bike racks are available at the entrance, and we are currently working in partnership with PKC and Sustrans Scotland to install a secure, covered bike shelter.”

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