Bath's Royal United Hospital pool's future in hands of ticket buyers
A use it or lose it message has gone out to save the outdoor heated swimming pool at the Royal United Hospital.
The pool has been open for almost 30 years, and allows patients, staff and guests to keep fit. However it needs significant investment and its operating costs currently exceed entry fees.
Prices have been increased, and staff fighting to keep the pool open are hoping people will commit to buying a season ticket.
RUH director of estates and facilities Howard Jones said: "We know it is a much-loved and well regarded facility. The pool is not run for profit and the costs of operating it safely are now higher than the funds we raise to run it. Unfortunately the pool is in need of significant investment in order to reopen it for the 2013 season and beyond, and we have no choice but to increase the costs of swimming this year.
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"We have to bridge the funding gap, and so we have written to all our staff and those local residents who have used it in the past, asking them to let us know if they will commit to buying a season ticket at the new price this year. We are hoping that we will get a real commitment from both our staff and the public that they will use the pool this year and help us to keep it open. If we don't get the level of commitment we need we will have to consider other options, which would unfortunately include closing the pool."
The new prices for a season ticket are:
Adult, RUH staff – £100; Child, RUH dependant aged three to 16 – £50; Infant, RUH dependant aged six months to three – £25; Adult, non-RUH – £150; Child, non-RUH dependant aged three to 16 – £70; Infant, non-RUH dependant aged six months to three – £40. There are also plans to introduce a family season ticket for two adults and two children at £250 for an RUH worker and £370 for anyone else.
There are plans to extend the pool season by an extra month, to six months, opening it in October and possibly April.
To buy a season ticket email ruh-tr.SwimmingPool@nhs.net, putting YES in the subject heading, by Sunday, March 17.