End of an era as plug is pulled on old pool

Frederick Gibbons and leisure attendant Caroline Lynch pull the plug
Frederick Gibbons and leisure attendant Caroline Lynch pull the plug

The plug was pulled on Kirkcaldy Swimming Pool on Friday - despite still no official opening date for the new leisure centre.

With the £11m facility delayed by water and drainage issues until the end of September at the earliest, Fife Council decided to keep the ageing pool open over the summer holidays.

But last week, one of its oldest and most frequent customers took the last swim as the pool finally closed its doors.

Frederick Gibbons (90), from Kirkcaldy, has been using the pool for nearly 30 years, three or four times a week since his retirement in 1987.

He said: “Swimming is a great way to keep active and I have enjoyed being able to come to the pool so regularly. I can’t wait to start using the new pool at Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre and I’m sure I’ll be a regular face there too!”

The latest statement from the Council says on-site works at the new centre are progressing well and Fife Sports and Leisure Trust is preparing to take over operation and management of the building once it is handed over by the contractor.

Ed Watson, chief executive of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “Kirkcaldy swimming pool has been a much-loved facility over the years, but, we are confident that when people see the new leisure centre they will be very impressed with the design, layout and facilities.”

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “Kirkcaldy pool closing its doors for the last time really is the end of an era. I’m sure there will be countless Langtonians who have memories of learning to swim and using the pool over the years.

“It was great the pool was able to stay open over the summer holidays to ensure local youngsters got the chance to enjoy a free swim thanks to the Fife Council funded initiative.

“But now it’s time to look to the future and the new centre which we’re on course to open at the end of September.

“As well as breathtaking views over the Forth which really capitalise on the waterfront location and two new pools, the town will have top quality dry side facilities for the first time which will be in great demand.

And Cllr Crooks addedthat the old pool will not be allowed to be left derelict and in danger of beconing an eyesore.

“The old pool site will now be decommissioned and emptied and the Mercat owners will take over responsibility for it in three months time.

“Redevelopment of the pool site has the potential to bring significant benefits to the town centre and I, along with council officers, will work with the Mercat owners to support and encourage appropriate development to further enhance the waterfront of the town.”