A community which has worked tirelessly to save a treasured swimming pool in Knowle now face a new challenge because of the rising cost of energy.
The volunteer-run Friends of Jubilee Pool will take community ownership of the pool in Knowle in two weeks - but due to the increase in running costs, a further £20,000 to £30,000 will be needed by the end of this year for it to stay open in 2023.
This is because operator Parkwood predict more money is needed to meet the rise in energy costs. Volunteers have gone with the operator, which already runs the pool, after a chosen company pulled out due to a £120,000-plus hike in annual costs.
Up to this point, people have raised more than £30,000 for the venture, much of it through a 24-hour Jubilee-athon event. There has also been £15,000 raised through grants.
In an update provided to Bristol World, Friends of Jubilee Pool chair Jules Laming thanked everyone for their support so far, but said they needed to fundraise ‘like crazy’ to ensure the pool remains open.
She said: “We are still on course for taking Jubilee Pool into community ownership at midnight on September 30 - the Parkwood offer is a lifeline and we are really pleased to be working with them moving forward, but the reality is that we are looking at a very sizeable unforeseen deficit to keep the pool going in the midst of the energy crisis.
“While we have funds in place to see us through the first three months of the contract, we will need to fund-raise like crazy to raise another £20,000 to £30,000 by the end of December to cover the January to April costs.”
She added: “As a consequence, we are asking the community and potential sponsors again - is there the commitment and the money to keep this dream alive? Because without them we cannot guarantee Jubilee Pool’s future.”
The group is desperate to raise the money following the success it has achieved so far.
The swimming pool - used for more than 80 years by people living in Brislington, Knowle, Totterdown and the surrounding areas - had been earmarked for closure by Bristol City Council.
But after a campaign, money was raised and an agreement struck to take community ownership of the site, and keep it open.
A profit-delivering management plan was written and a deal made with an operator, which has since pulled out because of the rise in energy costs. In stepped Parkwood, but more money is required.
Ms Lamming added: “We’ve come this far; the pool and gym have been busier than ever since our campaign started; but together we need to do more; there is no way we are prepared to give up easily.”