Swimmers returned to Abingdon’s much-loved Abbey Meadow outdoor pool this weekend, after it re-opened on Saturday following its complete transformation over the winter.
Vale of White Horse District Council invested £1.3m refurbishing the swimming pool site, which was officially re-opened by the council’s Chairman Cllr Monica Lovatt at a ribbon-cutting ceremony just before it was proudly unveiled to the public at 1pm.
Families and serious swimmers alike were delighted to be among the first to try out the new look pool, with its beach-style sloping entrance and modernised changing rooms.
Before building work began last summer there had been two pools; a small pool for younger children and a bigger deeper pool for stronger swimmers. The dividing wall between the two pools was knocked through to allow it to become one large L-shaped pool with a sloping accessible entrance at one end. The other end of the pool is deeper and can be used for lane swimming.
The pool tank has been completely redesigned and has become a deck level pool where water sits at the full height of the pool’s sides, which improves filtration and water quality. A rubber crumbed surface has been installed to create a safe area around the pool and in front of the changing rooms.
The entrances to the pool and the changing rooms have been modified to make them more accessible. There is automated lighting throughout the building making it more energy efficient and there is a new movement sensor entrance door for easy access. Coin-operated lockers are also available for the first time.
In addition, the council has unveiled a new piece of art work depicting fish swimming through reeds at the outside entrance, where it can be viewed by all visitors to Abbey Meadow. It has been specially commissioned and designed to reflect the riverside setting of the pool.
Work began on the rebuilding of the pool in September 2017 and was carried out by specialist swimming pool contractors, Vincent Stokes.
Cllr Roger Cox, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The pool looks fantastic and I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to provide this outstanding facility in Abingdon for residents and visitors alike.
“Abbey Meadow and the pool’s setting next to the Thames makes it uniquely attractive to families wanting a beautiful and safe place to relax and have fun and our investment means it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Cllr Alice Badcock, cabinet member for community services said: “The changes made to the pool make it a truly inviting place for people to spend time and get active.
“With the rebuilding of the pool and the play area nearby, along with the other improvements we are making will really help to give this much-loved area a new lease of life.”
For more information on prices and running of the pool please see GLL website
More pictures of the pool are available at our flickr site