Petition to save Jubilee Swimming Pool reaches over a thousand signatures

A petition to save one of South Bristol’s most popular swimming pools has reached over a thousand signatures in less than three weeks. 

Local residents launched the ‘Save the Jubilee Pool from Closure’ campaign after Bristol City Council threatened to stop its funding. The signatures were gathered both online and inside the building, at the pools’ reception.

The 82-year-old pool is currently run on behalf of the Council by Parkwood Leisure and receives a yearly subsidy of £62,000 a year. Its five-year contract with the leisure company will expire at the end of September.

“Vital asset to the local community”

The proposal for closure comes as a result of Bristol City Councils’ plans to make £100-million worth of cuts to public services within the next five years.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Knowle Gary Hopkins, who set up the petition, believes that the pool is a vital asset to the local community.

Campaigners have described the pool as “very valuable” because of its small scale and easy transport links for users, who get there by walking and other sustainable methods.

 A history of closures

Built during the second world war, the pool is no stranger to closure. It was closed within just two years of its opening, in 1939, but was saved from permanent closure as its attendance figures justified it remaining open.

The pool first made headlines in 1939. Image credit: Didi Onwu
A newspaper clipping of protests that happened in 1939. Image credit: Didi Onwu

More recently, the pool was closed in February 2012 due to the construction of a £25-million leisure centre complex at Hengrove, which also features an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Parkwood Leisure, who took over the running of the pool in 2010, subsequently saved Jubilee from permanent closure and ran the site without reducing numbers at Hengrove.

The 25m pool is used by 4 local schools. Image credit: Didi Onwu
The 25m pool is one of the warmest in Bristol.  Image credit: Didi Onwu

The pool serves over 4,500 children from four schools in the area. Jubilees’ facilities also attracts local diving school, Hidden Depths, who are based in Yate.

Local members of the community share their thoughts on why the pool is an important resource.

The campaign group ‘Friends of Jubilee Pool’ was set up, shortly after the announcement to close the pool was made, to collectively show support for the facility. The group have been tasked with collecting a further 2,500 signatures on the petition before it can be presented before the Council.

The future of the pool will also be discussed at a neighbourhood forum meeting on February 28 at 19.00 at Knowle Community Centre.

Do you have a memory to share about the pool? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Related links:

You can follow all progress of this campaign and show your support via this link: Petition

Story by:

Didi Onwu (video editing, images, words)

Luke Knight (interviewing, words)

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