Swimming pool welcomes back historic club

Gloucester City Swimming Club will once again return to its home at GL1 from Monday, October 16.

It forms part of the phased reopening of the city’s leisure facilities by Gloucester City Council and its partners after the provider Aspire Trust announced it was going into liquidation.

The Gloucester City Swimming Club has been based at the site since 1910 and coaches over 100 young people and children.

From Monday, the club’s young swimmers will return for their regular training sessions on weekday evenings. In addition, an important county gala event due to take place over the weekend of 20-22 October will now be able to go ahead.

Since Aspire announced it could no longer continue to run the city’s leisure facilities. the council has been working with local partners on a phased approach to reopening them until an alternative provider is appointed.

The facilities are currently being reopened up on a phased basis over the next few weeks with many clubs including local rugby, hockey and football teams already having returned to the outdoor pitches. The pools will not be open for public swimming sessions until a new leisure service operator is able to restart them.

Councillor Andy Lewis, cabinet member for Culture and Leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the swimming club who provide a fantastic service to our talented young people can return to their home. We’re aware this has been a worrying time for them and I know they are over the moon to be going back.

“Opening up these facilities has been our number one priority and we are grateful for the support of the sporting community and our partners the University of Gloucester and Active Gloucestershire who have worked alongside us to find out what people need to be able to start training and playing matches again."

Abi Poyntz-Wright, Chair of Gloucester City Swimming Club, said: “We are delighted to have been able to work closely with the council in order to get our training and Open Meets back up and running at GL1.”

Prior to Aspire’s announcement at the end of September, the council had understood that the Trust would be willing to continue to operate until September 2024 and had begun looking for a new provider to take on the leisure services from that point.

The council was extremely disappointed when the Trust announced that it would not be able to continue, despite the council committing to the additional financial support that they had requested, adding up to over £1.5 million since 2019.

It is planned that all former Aspire employees recently made redundant will be given interviews by the new provider for any new roles, with the intention that as many as possible will be taken on.

For the latest updates on the facilities visit https://www.gloucester.gov.uk/culture-leisure/sports-and-leisure/leisure-facilities-updates/