Bude Pool welcomes swimmers back six months after Storm Eunice rips off leisure centre roof

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report.

Swimmers have been welcomed back to Bude's leisure centre for the first time since February when Storm Eunice damaged the building.

The winds ripped off a large section of the roof affecting the pool, studios, gym and changing rooms.

The pool stayed closed for much longer than anticipated because of building shortages but today staff said the reopening was "perfect".

Assistant Manager Leanne Stanbury says greeting the families this morning "was the best feeling ever feeling" and it was just so nice to see "with cheery faces".

A large part of the pool roof blew off and the skylight smashed when Storm Eunice hit Cornwall in February Credit: ITV News

Although the gym was able to reopen, the pool was closed for repairs longer than it did during the Covid-19 pandemic which Leanne says staff found really difficult.

"I don't think any of us were anticipating it being that long. It's been a hard, strange six months. Staff have worked really hard, cleaning, getting it ready for it all."

Regular swimmers have also really missed their daily swims. Chrissie Marshall has been coming to Bude's pool for twenty years and says the closure took a toll on her physical and mental health.

"I was just on a fitness campaign coming every day for an hour, and then the roof fell in and it will stop just like that. And you don't realise how much the exercise does you got until you start a new balloon. You feel quite depressed because you you haven't gone anywhere to let the steam off."

Even in the heatwave families have been making the most of the wave machine and slide at Bude's pool Credit: ITV News

Operator GLL opened as soon as they could because the running costs for their leisure centres has rocketed with the cost of living crisis.

The cost of running the pool and gym has increased by 250% which works out as more than £1 million for the utility bill for the all of their leisure centres in Cornwall.

James Curry, GLL's head of service in Cornwall, says the not-for-profit is "everything possible to keep that costs down".

James also says there are "real challenges" ordering chlorine.

"We're having to order everything well in advance and plan well ahead far more than we used to."

It took six months to complete the roof rebuild after contractor changes and building supply shortages Credit: ITV News

Bude pool is back running its programme with swim for fitness sessions, swim for all swimming, family fun swims and the return of its Better swim school sessions.

There will also be a free swim session from 4-5pm on Friday afternoons from 12-28 August and £3 Sunday swims for adults and children from 9-11am.