The reopening of Jubilee Pool this summer has not been ruled out after an appeal to the Leader of Cornwall Council.
Martin Nixon, chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Pool, was at a meeting on Tuesday at the Queens Hotel on Tuesday when local councillors and business leaders met with senior Cornwall Council figures to discuss storm repair work and the future regeneration of Penzance seafront.
“We are very keen to see the pool reopen this summer,” he said.
“Having a semi-derelict pool on Penzance promenade this summer sends out all the wrong messages about Penzance and Cornwall being open for business.
“While it looks bad, from what we’ve discovered it need not cost a massive amount to get it in a condition where it is fit to be reopened in the short term.
“I asked John Pollard (Cornwall Council Leader) at the meeting to consider the potential for opening the pool this year and, if required, to allow Friends and volunteers to help with any repair work.
“He agreed to consult with officers on this. Currently they are clearing up the damage and once this has been done they will be able to accurately estimate costs for repairs.”
Mr Nixon also felt that Councillor Pollard was supportive about a longer term funding application to strengthen the pool and added that he had been amazed at the number of volunteers who had offered to help including several qualified builders.
Last week The Cornishman reported on the failed bid by Cornwall Council to the Coastal Communities Fund for a share of £27.7 million of funding to repair the pool and the announcement that the pool would not reopen this summer although the café would.
Tuesday’s meeting at the Queens Hotel was called by Jim McKenna, Cornwall councillor for the Penzance Promenade ward, and discussed not just the Jubilee Pool but also the wider work to repair and improve Penzance seafront.
“It was the first of several meetings which we are going to hold every four-to-six weeks,” said Councillor McKenna.
“It wasn’t just about the immediate remedial work following the storms but about what needs to be done for the town in the future.”
He said that the initial clear-up work was now complete and that intermediate work to bring the prom back to a serviceable state would continue over the next four months.
“The damaged surfacing, storm grills and railings will be replaced in time for Easter,” he added.
“It should be perfectly usable and I hope it will be ready to accommodate the Pirate World Record attempt at the end of May.
“However the most important thing that we tried to get across was to urge Cornwall Council that Penzance should remain the highest priority for them.”