Work starts on restoring derelict coastal pool in Fife

Work has started on restoring a derelict coastal pool in Fife.

Construction work began last week at the outdoor pool in Pittenweem – and it is hoped the renovated pool could be completed by late Feburary 2021.

Phase one of the work includes creating an access ramp, cleaning the pool, building new steps and reinstating the old steps, making the pool water tight, and carrying out the concrete works.

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Volunteers on the West Braes Project have been working on the project – getting plans drawn up, raising the funds, seeking the relevant permissions – for the last seven years.

David Thomson, chairman of the group, said he had been emotional after work had started.

“We’re all relieved,” he said. “Some of us have been doing this for the last 6-7 years. My cousin and I used to go down to the pool, and we said that it wouldn’t require much work to get it done.

“It’s been a long project. Now seeing the workmen down there – it gets you emotional. The work people have put in – they have made my dream come true. We’re all relieved and over the moon.

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“Without the people who work alongside me, it wouldn’t have happened. It’s emotional. I don’t get that emotional – it surprises me. But it shows how much this means to us.”

David thanked the local community and others who have shown their support for the project. There has been a lot of interest in the pool, with people around the world checking out the group’s Facebook posts and leaving comments praising the work.

“A lot of people grew up with the pool or have family ties to it,” David added.

“A lot of people told us it was where they learned to swim. There are a lot of stories attached to it.”

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The success of the project could even inspire other pool restoration schemes. One such project has been discussed in St Monans, which could see new life breathed into the village’s outdoor pool.

The West Braes Project team have been sharing their tips and hope other restoration projects could spring up.

The project has had the financial backing of Fife Environmental Trust and Fife LEADER, with support from Fife Council.

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