Torridge’s leisure facilities have been given a boost after councillors agreed to a package of funding which will allow some facilities to reopen.

Northam’s Torridge Pool is set to reopen on Monday, November 2, with a range of safety measures in place for visitors to the gym and pool.

Facilities in Torridge have been closed since the onset of the pandemic, despite being cleared to reopen by the Government in July, due to difficulties implementing Covid-19 guidelines.

But at a full council meeting on Monday, October 26, Torridge District Council (TDC) agreed a £141,000 funding package for operator 1610 to reopen the pool in Northam.

The funding will go towards the cost of recommissioning the pool, which includes Covid-19 measures such as screens, sanitiser stations and signage.

It also covers costs incurred by 1610 since facilities were closed in March, and will support the provider until March 2021.

TDC’s lead member for leisure, Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin, said: “We all recognise the real issues the Covid-19 pandemic has caused in many different areas of our lives. But now that we have a blueprint for safe operation of at least one of our pools it’s vital that we get this facility up and running as soon as possible.

“Leisure facilities are important for everyone, particularly the elderly and children and are essential to the health and well-being of our community. I would like to thank residents for their patience while we worked through this difficult process.”

While Torridge Pool is able to reopen, swimming facilities at Torrington and Holsworthy are not yet able to be recommissioned.

The council heard the pool at Holsworthy is too small to operate safely under Covid-19 restritions, and Torrington’s reopening has been delayed following the discovery of asbestos during roof repairs.

The process of removing the asbestos safely will cost £65,000, and the council has estimated reopening will not be feasible before the new year.

Visitors to Torridge Pool must book sessions for the swimming pool and gym in advance.

People are advised to turn up ‘bather-ready’ in their costume or shorts for pool sessions.

For more information, visit the Torridge Pool website.