'Tremendous' support reopens Wotton-under-Edge pool

A Gloucestershire pool has reopened for the summer season after a year of raising funds to guarantee its future.

Alan George, chairman of the pool committee, said: "There was a queue of people waiting outside at 10am."

The pool risked closure last year after Stroud District Council could no longer afford to run it, and had to hand it back to Wotton-under-Edge town council.

The council worked with the Swimming Pool Club to find ways of keeping the 50-year-old outdoor pool open.

In a local referendum in October last year 90% of residents in Wotton-under-Edge voted in favour of paying slightly more council tax to help fund the pool.

Mr George said the support was huge: "It meant there was a tremendous majority in the town that want the pool to work. Everybody is behind us."

Waiting eagerly

The pool was due to open at 1400 BST, but a queue of people waiting eagerly outside the entrance at 1000 BST meant the swimming pool opened early for its first customers.

Mr George said as well as the money from the council tax increase a number of people had given donations and held fundraising events.

He said: "Catherine Johnson, author of the musical Mamma Mia!, used to use this pool so she donated £5,000."

Volunteers have been working over the winter helping to refurbish the pool, by cleaning, painting and sorting out the changing rooms, for the summer.

Mr George said the public could expect to see "clean and tidy facilities, longer opening hours and lower prices."

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