Trustees at Brightlingsea Lido say they are confident that the pool will be open to the public again from June 19 – provided there are no changes to the government's schedule to bring the country out of Covid restrictions.
Although lockdown has delayed major repairs to the pumping electrical systems – damaged in the tidal surge a year ago and contributing to its closure for the whole of 2020 – the trustees are hoping that small work parties will be able to tackle jobs including cleaning and painting from April 12.
When the pool opens again,Lido trustee Mick Barry said that: "There will of course be a need to adjust operating practices as required by conditions at the time but it will be necessary to have an online booking system to avoid queuing and, initially, limited numbers on site."
In a bid to manage numbers and allow as many people to use the pool as possible, a session system is under consideration with, perhaps, two sessions a day instead of the current all-day ticket. Early morning swims and season tickets will be available. "Whilst the operation of the pool will be dependent to some extent upon national developments we must remember that outdoor swimming is good for the body and mind we want to give people the opportunity to enjoy themselves safely again in the open air," said Mr Barry.
This Friday – March 12 – will see the Lido café opening for takeaway drinks, snacks and ice creams with a new local team in charge who are looking to use local suppliers to source meat and bread. Depending on the weather, the plan is to open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 4pm until restrictions are lifted and more normal opening is allowed. Advertisements for a new site manager will go out from March 19.