Jubilee Pool ‘devolved’ to the people of Penzance

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Jubilee Pool, an iconic feature of the Penzance seafront for 80 years, is to be transferred to The Friends of Jubilee Pool Community Benefit Society.

The Friends of Jubilee Pool will be managing the pool via a new Community Benefit Society on whose board will sit the Cornwall Councillor Divisional Member, a Town Councillor as well as representatives from the Friends of the Jubilee Pool and community leaders.  The Community Benefit Society will operate the pool on the community’s behalf and ensure it is an affordable amenity for one and all.

Works to improve the accessibility of Jubilee Pool will begin in March to provide a series of ramps between the various tiers and install an easy access shower, toilet and changing facility. A Room Mate, a device which provides verbal instructions to help people with visual impairment to use changing spaces more independently, will also be installed in the easy access shower and toilet. In addition a new pool hoist will be provided which will improve accessibility into the water.

Jubilee Pool has received investment from the Coastal Communities Fund, Cornwall Council, Penzance Town Council, the Friends of Jubilee Pool, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnerships Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and Tempus Leisure following the winter storms of 2014 which caused significant damage to the pool. Following the damage the pool had been closed for two summer seasons, however, after an extensive repair project, which included rock anchoring of the pool base, sea wall repairs, extensive grouting, mechanical and electrical works, as well as general repair works, the pool was ready to be opened to the public once again in May last year. 

Martin Nixon, Chair of the Friends of Jubilee Pool, said: “We are delighted to announce the devolution of Jubilee Pool to the Friends of Jubilee Pool Community Benefit Society.  Since the Friends of Jubilee Pool were established in 1992 our objective has simply been to ensure the pool survives. Our trustees are passionate about the pool, have the expertise required to operate it successfully and will represent the interests of the large number of equally enthusiastic users, both locally and further afield.

Over the past three years Cornwall Council have invested considerable time and energy to the issue of Jubilee Pool’s future. We are delighted they have now placed their faith in the Friends of Jubilee Pool to deliver a sustainable longer term plan for this important listed building and community leisure asset.

We will now continue to work closely with Cornwall Council and local stakeholders on the next stage of this process. We will be operating on behalf of the community and we warmly invite anyone who would like to help us secure a bright future for Jubilee Pool to get in touch with us via our website at: www.jubileepool.co.uk.

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Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader and Chair of the Project Steering Group, said: “The transfer of Jubilee Pool is a great example of devolution in action. Devolution at its most worthwhile is about finding the best long term local custodians of an asset, in this case a pool that is valued and used by the local community. I applaud the Friends of Jubilee Pool for taking up the challenge.”

Cornelius Oliver, Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Central, said: “Whatever organisation is responsible for its financing and operation, the Jubilee Pool belongs to the people of Penzance. It is a very important part of the history and identity of our community, I am proud to have contributed to its renewal from the start of this project and look forward to my future involvement.”

Nigel Pengelly, Vice Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee for Penzance Town Council, said: “Penzance Town Council is delighted to support Jubilee Pool and be part of its future management as part of the Community Benefit Society. We wish the pool every success in the future and it’s good to secure such an iconic building in Penzance for future generations to come.”

The devolution negotiations for Jubilee Pool have been supported by the Cornwall Council Localism Team. Devolution has been recognised as a key component of the Council Strategy 2015-2019, with Localism and devolution’s primary purpose to help sustain locally-led service delivery at a time of unprecedented budget challenges for local government.

There are a number of devolution projects underway in Cornwall and several assets and services have already been successfully devolved to town and parish councils and community organisations.

More information about devolution and completed devolution projects is available on the Council website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/devolution