Wednesday 28 June 2023

Swimming facilities over the summer holidays #dundeewestend

With the school summer holidays starting at the end of this week, we renewed our call for greater use of the facilities at Harris Academy to be made available to families over the holidays, particularly given the continuing non-availability of Olympia.

We took this up with the Managing Director of Leisure & Culture Dundee and have been updated as follows :

"Further to your email regarding access to the Harris facilities, Leisure & Culture Dundee has worked hard to increase access to swimming opportunities for public lane swimming, family swimming, clubs and the Learn to Swim programme. The majority of the additional programming has been based at St Paul's and Grove Academy as these are PPP schools under Robertson's management and can be opened for additional access without incurring additional Tayside Contract Facility staffing costs.

With the exception of 08:00-08:30, Leisure & Culture Dundee provide access to pools across the city to clubs, general public and learn to swim programmes between the hours of 06:00 – 21:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00 – 17:00 at weekends. This provision is 7 hours less than when Olympia was available.

In 2018/19 Leisure & Culture Dundee ceased the weekend operation at Harris Academy due to lack of public demand for access, with attendances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for swimming averaging 8 participants over both sessions. At the time, Leisure & Culture Dundee were subsidising these weekend afternoon sessions by £6k per annum.

At present, we are still working towards attaining pre-Covid levels and are not in a position to increase this provision given the additional costs required, but are closely monitoring the situation."

We have responded saying we have concerns that the good facilities at Harris Academy are simply under-used. We feel some further engagement with the local community should be made to ascertain current - as opposed to historical - demand.