Swimmers are eager to take their first dip of the year as they anticipate the reopening of Abingdon’s popular Abbey Meadow pool.

Lidos across Oxfordshire have started to reopen for the summer and swimmers are already taking the plunge at Woodstock open air pool and preparing to take a dip at the Wallingford splash park later this month.

However, lido swimmers in Abingdon will have to until July 25 when the pool is scheduled to reopen and remain open for six weeks throughout the holidays. 

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This anticipation comes after Many people in Abingdon spent most of the month of June in 2021, campaigning to see the lido back to its former glory as the district council, which owns the facility, revealed that reopening posed a 'significant financial challenge' at the time.

The pool reopening was delayed last year due to Covid, but it was able to open with the help of a financial package from the Vale of White Horse District Council.


Herald Series: Councillor Emily Smith and Pam RadleyCouncillor Emily Smith and Pam Radley

The council agreed a financial package with GLL, the company the council employs to run the pool. The agreement sets out the summer holiday opening schedule, which will run until 2026.

The outdoor pool is very costly to run, heating costs for the pool alone this season are expected to be around £107,000, compared to £47,000 in previous seasons.

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The council has worked with GLL to make it possible to open the splash pad at Abbey Meadow a few weeks earlier than the pool, from Saturday May 28 ahead of the Platinum Jubilee long weekend.

Herald Series: Better mascot at lido reopening in 2021Better mascot at lido reopening in 2021

People in the town feel it is time the pool reopened for the summer.

Abingdon resident Rachel Parker said: “We are keen to back to use it now the weather is nice.”

Sarah Merdoch moved to Abingdon last year and has not had much chance to use the facility. She said: “I am disappointed that it hasn’t opened, it’s a shame.”

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Abingdon town councillor Gabby Barody said the residents in the area are “desperate” for it and would like to see the pool opened “as soon as possible.”

She said: “It is something that is wanted by our residents. The town should celebrate everything that we have got, all the facilities, the fantastic museum, the culture and biodiversity of the town.”

Herald Series: The Lido Ladies Jessica Walker and Nicola Foster.The Lido Ladies Jessica Walker and Nicola Foster.

District councillor Helen Pighills said: “We’ve looked at a wide range of options and have listened to the public’s feedback.

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“Aligning the pool’s season with the school summer holidays is a financially sensible option and means we’ve been able to secure the pool’s future and ensure our residents can enjoy it when they need it most, all while protecting our other vital services.” 

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