West Berkshire Council have announced that the lido at Northcroft Leisure Centre in Newbury should be opening on 7 July 2018.
The pool will be open for early morning swimmers from 7:15am until 8:45am. The pool will then be open from 11.00am until 7.00pm on weekdays and from 10:00am until 6.00pm on weekends and bank holidays. Visitors are invited to stay as long as they like with many people arriving early and making a whole day out of a visit.
Often people ask why West Berkshire Council doesn’t open the lido either earlier in the year or all year round.
The lido is really old and the current structure dates back to the 1920s. It is built in a flood plain and is fed by a bore hole, licensed by the Environment Agency, and has limits on the amount of water which can be extracted for the pool each year.
Water is retained in the pool over the winter months to keep the structure stable and counteract the pressure from the ground water.
Each year the pool is emptied and inspected to ensure that it is safe to open. However, this can only be done once the ground water level surrounding the pool is lower than the pool structure. This level, despite the lovely sunny weather, has only just been reached. Emptying it earlier would mean an increased risk that the pool structure could be compromised.
Owing to its age, there are always repairs to be done as leaks appear where the ground moves over the winter period. Once these repair works have been done, the pool then takes 10 days to fill. The water is then treated and heated ready for opening.
Dominic Boeck said:
“It is always frustrating when we have lovely weather but are unable to open the lido. We understand why residents are disappointed when this happens. We do get the pool open as quickly as we can but there are so many factors involved in doing so beyond our control. Unfortunately, owing to the lido’s age, repairs are inevitable each year, costly and reliant on the ground water levels being lower than the bottom of the pool. Now the pool is open for 2018 I hope the weather is kind to allow people to enjoy it over the summer.”