Council explores options for Pool in the Park to remain open


Friday, 8 December, 2023

Proposals to increase the cost of swimming so that Pool in the Park could remain open to members of the public and user groups are being finalised as an alternative to closure.

The detailed option proposes substantially increasing fees, including concessionary rates, that would significantly reduce the level of subsidy required from the Council.

Woking’s Pool in the Park is currently one of the cheapest venues to swim when compared with similar regional council-operated swimming pools. It is expected that any increase in price would be aligned with neighbouring district and borough swimming facilities.

The positive move follows extensive engagement with local residents over the last six months which revealed that more than half of respondents who use Pool in the Park would be open to paying more for the valuable service.

Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “It became abundantly clear through public engagement that Woking residents would prefer the council to explore increased fees and charges, including concessionary rates, as an alternative to closing Pool in the Park.

“Whilst we can’t make any promises at this stage, work to understand the cost of running the pool versus closing it has shown there may be a viable way ahead.

“I appreciate that swimming pools are a valuable asset to the community. However, providing such facilities is not a statutory requirement of the council. We continue to work hard to make essential savings and prioritise core business in the first instance.”

Members of the Executive will discuss proposals during an extraordinary meeting on Thursday 14 December before a final decision is made by councillors during the budget setting meeting scheduled for Thursday 8 February 2024.