Pressure increasing on council to save Kenilworth's outdoor pool

Restore Kenilworth Lido campaigners outside the entrance to Abbey Fields' swimming pool. From left: Clive Peacock, Joanna Perkins, Cllr Richard Dickson, Dorothy Watkins, George Jones and Jane Green.
Restore Kenilworth Lido campaigners outside the entrance to Abbey Fields' swimming pool. From left: Clive Peacock, Joanna Perkins, Cllr Richard Dickson, Dorothy Watkins, George Jones and Jane Green.

Campaigners are stepping up the pressure on Warwick District Council to save Kenilworth’s outdoor pool from possible closure.

‘Restore Kenilworth Lido’ was formed after the council announced it might get rid of the outdoor pool as part of improvements to the leisure facilities at Abbey Fields and Castle Farm.

Restore Kenilworth Lido's plan for the site. The council are looking into whether a 25m outdoor pool is possible, but are not considering the other features.

Restore Kenilworth Lido's plan for the site. The council are looking into whether a 25m outdoor pool is possible, but are not considering the other features.

The council is considering two options at Abbey Fields - keeping the outdoor pool as it is, or replacing the outdoor pool with an indoor pool for swimming lessons.

The two options are due to be put out for a four-week public consultation at the end of October before a decision is made in December.

But the group is hoping the council will consider an option for an even better outdoor pool than what Kenilworth currently has.

It has created its own plan for what could be done at the site - including the installation of a 25 metre rectangular outdoor pool, a 25 metre indoor pool, and a ‘river and poolside cafe’.

Jane Green of Restore Kenilworth Lido felt their idea would make the outdoor pool more commercially viable. She believes keeping the outdoor pool as it is would not work as it would not make enough money.

She said: “Our plan has a cafe, which is integral to the lido concept, from which people can look over Abbey Fields, the river or the pool. It will be accessible to people either going for a swim or simply going for a coffee or meeting friends.”

At the Kenilworth Community Forum on Tuesday October 2, head of cultural services Rose Winship said the council’s project team will look at a 25m pool plan to see whether it is ‘physically possible’, and urged Restore Kenilworth Lido to submit the idea formally as part of the consultation.

However, she said the council would not consider the group’s entire plan - only the 25m pool.

Jane said the campaign was gaining ‘huge support’ from the public and on social media.

A petition to keep the outdoor pool open has received 3,300 signatures at the time of writing.

And Clive Peacock, who has been part of the campaign group for around two years, hoped the council would consider Restore Kenilworth Lido’s ideas.

He said: “I adore the outdoor pool - it’s a sensational experience to swim in it. It’s just lovely.

“If it closes, I think it would be the biggest disappointment that has happened in the 30 years I’ve lived in Kenilworth.”

The outdoor pool has been in Abbey Fields in some form for 122 years, and has survived two world wars.

The petition to save the pool can be signed here