THE only independent swimming pool in County Durham has decided to remain closed for the rest of the season due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Stanhope Open Air Swimming pool is a popular attraction in the heart of Weardale but with the continuing uncertainty surrounding COVID19 and when swimming pools will be able to reopen, the committee has decided that it would be best not open for this season.

Ruth Haynes manager at the pool said: “Its always really difficult to extend closure but at the forefront of our minds is the safety of our users. There has been a concerted effort nationally to get things ready for reopening but for a small independent pool its impossible to get everything in place."

It takes six weeks to get the pool to a point where it is able to open to the public and as the summer presses on with no confirmation on when pools would be able to open it would not be feasible.

Miss Haynes added: “If we opened for July 4 we would not have been open for long as it takes six weeks to prepare, we would then shut down mid-September, it would not be worth it, plus our usual size is about 90 people but with distancing it would be 36 which would not be sustainable.”

Instead, the team at the pool will be taking the time to perform essential maintenance to the facility and look forward to opening next summer.