Replace on ‘treasured’ Victoria Embankment pool because it won’t open this summer season

A popular paddling pool in Nottingham will not reopen in time for summer and discussions will soon begin into what should replace it. The ‘treasured’ pool on the Victoria Embankment was closed amid soaring and unsustainable repair costs.

Hundreds of people signed a petition last year calling for the pool to be saved after Nottingham City Council said the filtration system was beyond repair and numerous cracks had been discovered. It is thought it could cost up to £400,000 to get it back in working condition, but it is a price the council simply cannot afford to pay.

Last year the authority said it was to launch a consultation about what comes next, but this was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nottinghamshire Live now understands it will not be reopening in time for summer and may have to be replaced.

Read more: Latest on the city council’s road to recovery

The petition to save the condemned pool said: “We must make sure that we do not lose this like so many other local landmarks and sites of local historic significance. Let’s ensure that our kids, grandkids and great grandkids can enjoy this great feature as much as we have for at least another 100 years.”

The pool opened in the 1940s and its current water filtration system is around 40 years old. The council is already under significant financial pressures, with a new budget recently approved detailing the proposed closure of three libraries and a number of children’s centers to save cash.

Closing the libraries would save £233,000 for example and, putting this into context with the significant repair costs for the paddling pool, it is quite evidently a cost the council cannot afford. Eddie Curry, head of public realm at the authority, told Nottinghamshire Live: “We’re really sorry that the Victoria Embankment paddling pool had to close last year and unfortunately we’re not going to be able to reopen it this summer.

“The original pool dates back more than 70 years to the 1940s, while the current plant equipment is from the 1980s. This has made maintaining the facility extremely challenging, both in a practical and financial sense. Parts are increasingly difficult to source and often very expensive.

“We’ve carried out numerous repairs in the past 15 years but, with such pressure on funds, these have invariably been more short-term in nature. We estimate it would cost around £400,000 to bring the pool back up to current standards for use – this is not something which our parks budget could sustain.

“A planned consultation was unfortunately delayed by Covid-related capacity and ongoing work to restore the nearby war memorial. We plan to speak to the public in the coming weeks to see what they would like in place of the pool. We will then look to launch a strategy to raise funds externally.”

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