Stonehaven open air pool volunteers are riding into their new season on the crest of a wave following a bumper 2018.
The UK’s most northern lido will open its doors on May 25 under the working partnership arrangement between Aberdeenshire Council and the Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool charity which maintains and promotes the popular attraction.
Set in an art deco listed building on Stoney’s seafront, the Olympic-sized pool is heated to 29˚C and operates a full programme during the summer season, from family sessions to midnight swims.
It has enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity in recent years after a closure threat in the 1990s led to the formation of the Friends group.
Friends chairman Pete Hill said 2018 was an amazing season with no fewer than 37,445 customers passing through its historic turnstiles.
The Friends of the Pool were also honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
“We have our fingers crossed for another hot summer and similar visitor numbers this year,” he said.
“The pool also won its fifth consecutive TripAdvisor certificate of excellence and was admitted to the TripAdvisor hall of fame, a wonderful accolade for any attraction but particularly for one which opens for only a short season.”
Customer information research from last season suggests fewer than half of last year’s visitors were Stonehaven residents.
Mr Hill added: “Over 22,000 would have visited the pool from elsewhere in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen city and further afield, including more than 8,000 from the rest of Scotland, around 1,500 from the rest of the UK and a further 1,500 from overseas.”
It’s hoped the recent opening of Aberdeen’s western bypass may bring a boost from areas including north Aberdeenshire and Moray.
Aberdeenshire Council has carried out a considerable amount of work over the winter, replacing much of the old pipework and painting in and around the pool basin while the Friends have concentrated their efforts on the main pool building.
The council culture and sport sub-committee chairman David Cook said: “Preparing for the pool’s new season is always a busy and exciting time and we are pleased to be continuing our long relationship with the Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool.
“There’s a great range of events and activities this year and we wish the Friends and all the pool’s customers the very best for a successful season.”