Council decides to keep Bakewell swimming pool and gym closed for at least two months

Bakewell swimming pool and gym will be closed for another two months due to social distancing concerns.
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Derbyshire Dales District Councillors agreed at an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday, to give a further £300,000 to Freedom Leisure, to enable them to open the leisure centres in Matlock, Ashbourne and Wirksworth from August 22 - but Bakewell will remain closed for a further two months.

The money will keep the centres open for six months, although the Council’s director of resources warned that there is a risk that the private operator may come back with a request for further funding in 2021.

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Councillor Peter O’Brien, who represents Abney, Eyam, Grindleford and Hathersage on the District Council, said “Over 250 local children a week regularly have swimming lessons at Bakewell pool, as well as many families.

Councillor Peter O'BrienCouncillor Peter O'Brien
Councillor Peter O'Brien

"It’s very disappointing that the council wouldn’t even discuss my suggestion that we should look at reopening Bakewell pool at the same time as the other centres.

"As we emerge from lockdown, I think it’s essential that we should do everything we can to support our local communities, and enabling children to swim at Bakewell would have made a major contribution to this.”

A council spokesman said: “Councillors agreed that, due to its relatively small size, social distancing measures are unfortunately unworkable at the Bakewell facility right now.

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“Our understanding is that school swimming lessons may not be due to restart until January next year at the earliest.”

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