News about Jubilee Pool is spreading. The esteemed New York Times published a list of ’52 places to visit in 2017’. From Canada to Botswana, from Dubrovnik to Tijuana, the list is a feast of eye-catching locations it feels should be at the top of the discerning traveller’s list this year. The only place in the UK mentioned: Penzance. The top of its list of things to see when in Penzance: the Jubilee Pool.
A historic saltwater lido in Penzance, one of the last of its kind in Europe, Jubilee Pool was restored and preserved for future generations thanks to a £3 million restoration programme, with the repairs and renovation work undertaken by Cormac. This included:
- anchoring the pool floor to the rock bed
- repairs to external walls and structure
- stabilisation and repairs to terraces and changing rooms
- replacement of paving and hand rails
- upgrading the pool drainage and electrical systems
- renewing and rerouting the sewer pumping main
- stabilisation of internal tank walls
Fixing the platform of the pool to the rocks beneath involved drilling and embedding 155 rock anchors. The outer sea wall, which was showing the wear and tear of decades of bombardment from rough seas and winds, was treated to extensive repairs. This meant careful planning and timing to avoid being caught by, or having work undone by, tidal action. A mobile crane working inside the pool was often used to hoist a man cage outside, allowing work on the walls to continue regardless of tidal ebb and flow.
The work was completed in time for the pool to open for the high season in May 2016. In its first full season since its refurbishment, 41,465 customers came through the turnstiles. That is comparable to the numbers of visitors during its heyday back in the 1930s.
Usable by all
March 2017 saw the start of the installation of universal access ramps to open the pool up for anyone with mobility requirements. The ramps were designed in sympathy of the original art deco design and blend in seamlessly with its surroundings. The works were completed in time for the Whitsun bank holiday in May 2017.
The community takes over
The pool was handed over to the Friends of Jubilee Pool in May 2017, which now run the pool as a community benefit scheme with support from Penzance Town Council and Cornwall Council.
Award winning work
The pool and our work on it recently won the 2017 People’s Choice Award at the Institution of Civil Engineers South West awards. The project was also highly-commended by the judges in the ‘over £1-million (re-engineered)’ category.