A MUCH-missed Lake District swimming pool will re-open next year after a £500,000 overhaul.

Loss-making Troutbeck Bridge pool closed in 2012, but its owners say they have secured the private funding needed to modernise the ‘tired and outdated’ 1970s leisure venue where generations of children learned to swim.

David Howell, trustee of pool owners and operators Hazelwood Wellness Group, told the Central Lakes Neighbourhood Forum that the pool would re-open in early 2015.

“The works being done are thorough,” he told the Gazette.

“The pool was built in 1974 and this gives it another 30 years’ life.”


Mr Howell said the two firms investing in the pool were experienced leisure operators Choices Health Clubs, of Derby, and Wild Training, which provides outdoor exercise. With planning permission in place, works are to begin over the summer holidays.

The old 20-metre pool, with its cracked concrete and leaking pipes, is ‘beyond economic repair’, explained Mr Howell, so a new 15-metre pool will be built alongside, with new locker rooms.

There will be an indoor exercise studio and an outdoor gym for Wild Training classes.

Local firms will carry out the refurbishment with a focus on insulation and energy efficiency to reduce running costs and help make the centre ‘sustainable’.

Fifteen to 20 full and part-time jobs would be created, said Mr Howell, adding: “We will get back to teaching 350 to 400 children swimming lessons per week.”

The pool is besides the Lakes School and head teacher Andy Cunningham is excited about ‘great opportunities’ for students.

County councillor Heidi Halliday, who chaired the forum meeting, told the Gazette there was ‘a great deal of community interest’ in the pool. Local swimmers had been travelling to Kendal or Keswick since its closure or joining private clubs.

Coun Halliday said Mr Howell was hoping that Olympic gold medal swimmer Duncan Goodhew would open the pool.

South Lakeland district councillor Vivienne Rees, who remembers how the original pool was paid for by locals over seven years, said: “My daughter had learned to swim in Grasmere, but my son said the lake was so cold you can’t really learn, so having a warm pool to learn in is important.”

Fellow district councillor Ben Berry told the Gazette: “It’s such a shame to see a community asset sit derelict and rotting. We’ve been promised that it would open before, so I look forward to it happening.”