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‘A shambles’: Parents’ fury as Ellon pool enters third month of closure

Parents were told of the pool's closure in February, and are still waiting for it to reopen.
Parents were told of the pool's closure in February, and are still waiting for it to reopen.

Hundreds of north-east children are still going without swimming lessons as a community pool remains shut.

Patience is wearing thin among parents in Ellon as the pool enters its third month of closure.

The pool, which opened at the new £36 million Ellon Academy Community Campus in 2015, was forced shut on February 21 due to building issues.

Parents were informed by email on February 23 that lessons would be cancelled for four weeks due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

It has now been revealed that the pool will re-open on Friday May 6.

But parents are still angry at being kept out of the loop.

Return date continually pushed back – ‘unforeseen circumstances’ repeated each time

Since the pool closed, a further three emails have been sent out to parents, each pushing back the date of return.

Each email continued to blame “unforeseen circumstances” for the delayed reopening.

Aberdeenshire Council told The Press & Journal earlier this month that the closure was due to support struts for the air conditioning and sprinkler systems needing replaced.

Contractors had “encountered difficulties in acquiring the correct grade of steel for the pool environment which has led to a short delay in the work”.

Despite this, the council said it was “very confident” the pool would be reopened by the end of April.

Learn to Swim classes in Ellon have been put on hold since February.

Bitter blow after year-long Covid closure

Now in the third month of closure, parents’ frustration is mounting over the lack of information from Aberdeenshire Council, and many had been beginning to question just how long the pool would be closed for.

The closure is a particularly bitter blow for youngsters and their parents, coming on the back of a year-long suspension of lessons due to Covid. Kids have now gone more than 10 weeks without lessons.

Parents took to Facebook to vent, with some saying they had been travelling further afield to pools in Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Inverurie to keep their kids from falling behind.

‘Embarrassing that a six-year-old facility has failed like this’

Steven Fraser said: “It’s been a chore travelling here, there and everywhere. My two are desperate to get back to Ellon and normality, especially after the last two years.

“The whole pool closure really has been a shambles.”

Another said: “Kids are desperate to get back in. It’s costing parents a fortune travelling to Peterhead, Inverurie, Westhill and Bridge of Don to keep their kids swimming.

“Embarrassing that a six-year-old facility has failed like this.”

And Phil Anderson said: “I started a charity swim on March 22. It’s been murder getting lengths in with the local pool closed.”

In the latest update from Aberdeenshire Council, a spokesman told the Press and Journal the pool “will reopen with normal operating hours on Friday, May 6″.

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