Frequently Asked Questions!

Q. How come you’re not open yet?

There is a lot to do! We need the pool water and plant to be safe and able to cope with the level of community use we’re expecting. We have to make sure we provide suitable facilities, and as the pool has been closed for so long, there is equipment to fix / replace. We also need to have a lease in place! We are working as fast as we can, and we’re as keen as everyone else to have the pool up and running. Thank you for being patient with us! 

Q. When are you planning to open the pool? 

As soon as possible! We need to make sure the pool is safe and sustainable and that the perimeter is secure too. In an ideal world, we would open for the Winter Season 2024 – but realistically, this would be a stretch. There are so many factors outside of our control: the speed at which the lease is negotiated, planning permission, etc. Unfortunately, until the lease is in place, we can’t start doing any work on the site and . As you’ll see from questions and answers below, there is a lot that needs to be done! All we can really say for sure is that the Trustees, Committee and Volunteers are all working as hard as we can to get the pool open. 

Q. How much money have you raised so far? 

We’ve got approximately £59,000 in our bank account – which is earning interest – and we have various applications and committed donations still to come. It’s important that we keep fundraising: some of the grants we have applied for require us to have a percentage of the amount we ask for in the bank – we estimate that we need to raise another £25,000 from donations as a minimum over the next 12 months. Some grant funding awarded will only be released once works have been started, and some are released in stages while work is ongoing.  

Q. How much money do you need in order to be able to open the pool? 

This is a challenging question to answer! The pool has been out of operation for over 5 years, and even our preliminary inspections have identified many issues that need resolving (see “What work needs to be done”, below). One of our issues is that ‘sticking plaster’ solutions will result in higher operating costs and higher long-term costs. We have one grant application in particular which would be a “game changer” and allow us to invest properly for the future. That said, we know the priority is to open the pool, and so, if necessary, we will do what we need to do to open safely – and continue to seek funding for the longer term. To answer the question more directly, we estimate that we could open the pool for around £130,000 (with the bare minimum in place); we could offer a better and more sustainable pool for an additional £200,000 (around £330,000 in total); and to do everything we think should be done, we’d need another £150,000 (around £480,000 in total). These are huge numbers, and we are realistic that we probably won’t be able to do everything immediately.  

Q. What work needs to be done so that the pool can open? 

As above, there is a lot to do, and we have option in terms of the bare minimum, a middle ground, and doing everything. Here are a few of the items within each scenario so that you can get a better feel for the type of work / expenditure needed: 

  • Minimum to open (approx. £130,000): New, secure fence; re-siting the entrance; new and repaired plant (this is the filters, pumps, chemical controls etc) ; toilet block; Pool cover; training & readiness; paving & coping work; repairs to retaining wall; some fees (e.g. planning, drawings); legal services for lease; insurance; signage; moving of energy meters
  • Investment for the future (approx. £330,000): As above, plus air-source heat pump*; solar panels*; pergola; extension to plant room; planning & building control; membership system; payments system. (*These will significantly reduce the daily energy costs for operating the pool).
  • Gold standard (approx. £480,000): high-end pool covers (which not only contain the heat in the pool but can absorb more from the sun); architect’s fees; changes to carpark; new soakaway and amended pool drainage; full automation of plant room. 

As above, the advantage of doing more, sooner, is that we will have a more sustainable pool – we will use less energy, require less remedial work, need to close for maintenance less often, require fewer volunteers, and have a nicer facility for the community! However, as we’ve said, that won’t stop us opening; we await the outcome of some grant applications. 

Q. Do you need volunteers? 

Q. How do I contact the WCSP team? 

Q. How can I make a donation to WCSP? 

Q. What events have you got coming up? 

  • 23rd March – Quiz Night at the Parish Hall.
  • 2nd May – Quiz at The White Hart.  
  • 29th June (A big event, details to follow!)
  • 13th July – Parish Fête.  
  • 7th September – Back to School Quiz.  
  • October 31st – Ghost Walk.  
  • December 7th – Christmas Quiz at the Sports & Social Club.

We have lots of other ideas we are looking into so please keep an eye open on new events being added. We are always grateful for any items people are kind enough to donate for raffle prizes! 

Q. Why do we need to build toilets? 

A. It is a legal requirement to provide a mains-drained, flushing toilet with mains hot and cold water, where it is practical to do so. We do not consider a chemical toilet to be a suitable option and will be looking to have a proper toilet facility (with disabled access) in place for opening. 

Q. How long is the pool? 

A. Length: 23.4 metres, Width: 9.7 metres, Depth 1.1 metres to 2.1 metres. 

Q. What times do you expect to be open? 

A. We have agreed in principle with Testbourne School (noting that until the lease is in place, the agreement is not formalised) that the normal opening hours for the pool (which will vary throughout the year) are 06:00 to 20:00 each day. We are also allowed to open occasionally outside these hours, with an agreement from Testbourne. We hope to be able to offer early-morning sessions, family sessions, after-school swims, lessons, etc., but this will be very dependent on the availability of volunteers. 

Q. Are you just opening for a summer season? 

A. No. It is intended that the pool will be available throughout the year to accommodate cold water swimmers. It is expected that it will be the only cold-water pool available year-round in Hampshire. There are many cold-water swimmers and open water swimmers who either drive a great distance to access a cold-water pool or are unable to swim in open water nearby because of the sewage/pollution issues. The heated (summer) season will be 1st May to 1st September, the cold (unheated) season will be the rest of the year except for a couple of weeks in (probably) October for plant and pool maintenance. The pool may not, initally be open 7 days a week, this will depend upon demand and volunteers available for lifeguarding, first aid and other duties required to be operational. Flexibility will be offered, maybe just mornings during the week or 2 or 3 full days instead, depending upon what is needed.  

Q. What is the order of works? 

  1. Moving/re-assignment of energy meters 
  2. Fencing  
  3. Building of toilet facilities 
  4. Refurbishment/replacement of pool plant equipment and covers
  5. Cleaning of pool 

All the above in parallel with planning applications and purchase of equipment needed and training of personnel. 

Q. Have you considered asking the Council for money via developers when new housing is built? 

A system is already in place whereby any housing development requires the building company to provide funds to BDBC of an agreed percentage to a fund known as the S106 Fund, to be used solely for community projects. Monies from that are allocated to community projects. The use of these funds must be clearly defined and form part of a contract, along with the value awarded. As a project we have been awarded over £15,000 which is the remains of a larger amount allocated to Testbourne Community School for the purpose of refurbishing the swimming pool but was not used. 

Q. Have you considered leasing air source heat pumps and solar panels instead of purchasing? 

This hasn’t been so far considered as a possibility, but it is worth investigating to see if this would be both feasible and financially beneficial. 

Q. Have we looked into Tesco tokens for fundraising 

As a project, we do not believe we fit the Tesco criteria, however we have contacted them to see if we are able to apply for any funding and await their response.   We regularly check on the criteria as we do for the other supermarkets who run similar schemes.

Q. How can I help? 

If you think you have skills that can help us in any way, please get in touch with us. We need people who can help with legal stuff, right through to people to help withing cleaning and sweeping. Of course, we always need raffle prizes too! We need to draw on the skills that exist within the community, to help get the pool operational for the community!