Pool And Gym Not Making Enough Money

normandy pool_1600x900Scilly’s Health and Wellbeing facilities aren’t bringing in enough money.

A finance report presented to councillors at last week’s Community Services meeting showed that the Normandy Pool has currently made £35,000 less than expected since the start of the new financial year in April.

The Council anticipated that the pool should have earned £43,000 by now, but it’s only brought in £8,000.

Finance officers say that swimming lessons “have usually been a key driver for income recovery” adding that they are now being advertised again.

The gym is also underperforming. That was expected to raise £8,000 but has only made £2,600.

The report says increased use of the gym over the winter period is expected to raise more income in the second half of the year.

In February, councillors agreed to run a feasibility study into building a new pool at Carn Gwaval, close to the school and existing sports hall.

It’s expected that could cost up to £1.5m.

18 Responses to Pool And Gym Not Making Enough Money

  1. Ian T. October 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    If the suggestion I made some twenty years ago had been taken seriously instead of ridiculed by some, Scilly would have ahd a real benefit to tourism and not be facing deficits like they do now with the sports hall and pool. But what do I know?

    • Miriam October 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm


    • Ernest Admirer October 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      It cannot be easy to cope with constant ridicule for more than twenty years but take heart from the fact that prophets are seldom recognised in their own time and some are never recognised at all. If, as seems most likely, you fall into the latter category at least you will know that you gave it your very very best try. Rest assured there are many of us who hang on your every word so don’t even think about throwing in the towel, these Islands need you now more than ever. Remember, never give up never surrender!

  2. Jenny October 23, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Most Local Authority run community pools run at a loss. The community had been asking for a community pool for many years. It is a shame that the one we have is too small for those who want to have a splash around when other are serious swimmers. The changing rooms are awful, the chloride levels were making some feel lighted and unwell and no parking is an issue. Yes it would be good it we walked or cycled to the pool, but most people living in town with cars need them to drive 100 yards down the road, let alone 1.5miles to a swimming pool.

  3. RogerP October 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

    The boatmen, cycle hire, golf buggy hire etc always supply all the hotels, guest houses and self catering properties with information leaflets to ensure they get all the business the need. Do the gym, sports hall or pool do this. No they don’t and they wonder why the business is so low. I told the responsible councillor this but no action was taken. It really does need a business person to run it.

  4. Carrott October 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    The swimming pool, and gym were never going to make money. The council had to make up figures to get the funding to enable them to be built, just like the sports hall.

  5. mike October 23, 2015 at 9:34 am

    If it had been built nearer to town more people would use, but up at Normandy you must be joking. Who ever decided on its present location years ago was mad and didnt think of the consequences if it was not used very much. Another Council White Elephant just like that useless building on the Industrial Site.

    • John Dross October 23, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Such a distance. – must be an awful trek. How could planners get it so wrong! We have it so easy on the mainland with the nearest public pool only 6 miles away – gosh we’re spoilt.

    • Sheila Thomas October 23, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Mike, the swimming pool was built by John & Jean Thomas when Normandy was run as a hotel, it was gifted to the council when they retired and Normandy became part of the Devon & Cornwall housing stock, so before you start knocking the council/councillors again, please check your facts before you let your fingers type

      • Verity Opinionated October 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        Heed your own advice, it certainly was not “gifted” the Council paid D&C Housing for a lease. These Islands would be far better off if more of the poorest performing councillors followed your example.

    • Roger Banfield October 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      It would help if you got your facts correct before passing comments like “Another Council White Elephant”.
      The pool was built many years ago, by John Thomas, to compliment facilities offered by the then Normandy Guest House. At some stage, after the Guest House closed, and when the Council took over the building, it was deemed sensible to make use of the pool. The pool has been used for many years at that location, but rest assured, it’s siting cannot be blamed on the Council.
      If you are not aware of the above facts, then you are probably not aware that over the years many projects have been put forward viz: 1970’s Roy Mitchell offered to include a swimming pool in the old Strand Garage site (now Man-of-War etc), Round Table offered to fund raise for a swimming pool that utilized the excess heat then being produced by the Power Station. The heat from the incinerator had also been suggested. These projects failed mainly on the ground that the cost of running them would not be covered sufficiently by the income, after building them.
      Roger banfield

      • Water Wings October 25, 2015 at 7:59 am

        Roger, this council had a glorious opportunity, when the new school was being built, to put the swimming pool in with the sports complex. It was deemed not necessary by the then Chief Exec. Instead the council paid a fortune to revamp the old pool which was a complete waste of money. However, the fact remains that with our small population a swimming pool anywhere here is going to lose money.

        • High Lanes Drifter October 25, 2015 at 10:29 am

          Funny I thought there was a project board that had a large and diverse membership and that the concencus was that it would be too big a financial liability to build such a pool given the size and demographic of the resident and visitor population. Of course the council at that time lacked the foresight to ignore the evidence and plough headlong into repeated overspend and mass recruitment, thank goodness our excellent chairman put all that right with her truly inspiring leadership. “Look on my works ye mighty and despair”

  6. Mrs E Windsor October 23, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Ah well the chairperson by her own admission is not really a figures person,

    • Linguine October 23, 2015 at 9:58 am

      She is also remarkably quiet for a supposed ‘linguist’ but then I suspect she was seldom in demand for that role either. The Linguist wanted the supposed cudos of being the chairman but the gold chain is now hanging round her neck like an albatross.
      No business acumen, no foresight, no ability, no ornament and no business being there!
      If you have any love for these Islands recognise that you are causing them irreparable damage and resign now.

  7. a water baby October 22, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Perhaps the swimming pool would make money if it was open when people want to use it. Part time service is not good enough. Some times you have to spend money (IE wages etc) to make money.

  8. Simon Jenkinson-Smith October 22, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Sounds like they set this budget too high to make it look like the Council of the Isles of Scilly has a balanced budget overall; not that we have seen that council budget reported in detail anywhere.

    Take a look back at 2013 2014 when the Council last published any meaningful and transparent financial information and they expected £31,000 pool income. That was budget increased to £33,000 in the 2014 2015 budget, so £43,000 in this year looks quite ambitious.

    Take a look for yourself at the link below on page 96

    • Asrthur Greib-Streibling October 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      Like you I thought there was a cunning plan but now I have realised that they are truly rudderless and floundering. I wouldn’t be surprised if either the chairman or the chief executive does a runner at some point.