Extensive repairs needed at historic Westward Ho! tidal swimming pool.

Westward Ho!’s historic tidal swimming pool will not reopen until spring or summer next year – despite being allocated government cash for its repair in January.

Torridge District Council (TDC) said damage was extensive and that repairs would run for ‘some months, weather permitting’.

The pool was closed in February 2014 after being battered by winter storms.

Andrew Waite, the council’s property and procurement manager, said: “The works required here are more extensive than the simple removal of accumulated sand, rocks and other debris and due to its condition and ongoing concerns over Health and Safety the facility is currently closed.

“While we are unable to give exact timings for works, which will have to be tendered for, the council’s objective is to have the facility restored and reopen by spring/summer next year.”

Other work being scheduled following January’s successful £417,000 Coastal Communities Fund bid includes repairs to the sea wall and promenade.

Lighting columns and lost and damaged seating will be replaced; beach access improved; and a new play trail and interpretation boards installed.

The council is also planning two art installations – an exclamation mark and a piece to celebrate the Rudyard Kipling poem, If.

In the meantime, the council has urged local people not to clear the pool themselves due to safety concerns.

Sean Kearney, commercial and leisure services manager, said: “We have recently been alerted to a campaign that calls for volunteers to help clear the rockpool of debris.

“While it’s really great to see such enthusiasm and pride of place in this landmark we must request that the unauthorised clearance of the rockpool stops with immediate effect.

“The pool is closed because it is presently unsafe and the public should in no way be encouraged to use it or take it into their own hands to improve or refurbish it.

“The council has been successful in raising funds for the repair of the pool and those works are scheduled for next spring, with tenders yet to be obtained and contractors appointed.

“We would ask for the publics patience while this process is completed.”