A £24,000 seawater pool is coming to Ilfracombe, making use of a currently derelict area.
North Devon’s councillors have agreed to convert the area between the end of the pier car park and the new East Face Quay into a retained pool.
It’s expected to cost £24,000 and most of the money will come from Devon County Council, North Devon’s strategy and resources committee heard on Monday 5 June. They were also told it will help regenerate the area and be used by local clubs and tourists.
When the pier was built in Ilfracombe Harbour to replace an old, dilapidated wooden structure in 1999, an area was left enclosed but derelict. This new project will clear the floor of the old pier construction debris and excavate an area to a deeper depth.
Safe access points, life-saving devices and new signage will then be installed.
A council report said: “Creating this facility would be of benefit to cold water swimming clubs, local diving clubs and commercial dive training providers, the local and wider community within North Devon and our valued visitors to the area.”
The pool will close when the high tide spills over the top, and drainage holes will allow existing water to be replaced.
New council leader Ian Roome (Lib Dem, Barnstaple with Pilton) said it is a “jolly good idea,” and that it will be an “extra facility that will enhance the area and the sea frontage and also, importantly, make it safe because I have seen people in there already.
“I think by having the ladders there and other safety equipment in situ it will be a lot safer,” he added.
The project comes as the town’s new watersports centre prepares to open its doors. Deputy leader David Worden, (Lib Dem, South Molton) said the pool will finish that part of the harbour area.
Members of the committee unanimously backed the new pool.
Credit: Ollie Heptinstall, Local Democracy Reporter