On March 22nd, after an unavoidable delay caused by the worldwide Covid 19 Pandemic, the Peterborough Lido Friends were at last able to hold an AGM, to which all paid-up members were invited. With the pandemic causing such major disruption, it was no surprise that Peterborough’s sports and leisure provider, Vivacity, fell victim to its effects. The Friends Committee worked behind the scenes, maintaining contact with the City Council and the new Lido Management team and, as a committee, we reluctantly felt we needed to support the decision to remain closed over the period of 2020 when risk to the public was at its greatest.
The city council ultimately decided that all the City’s sports facilities would be taken over by Peterborough Limited, although the Vivacity brand name was retained, and in 2021 we were thrilled when their management team decided the decision to open at the end of March – earlier than ever in its history – while all indoor pools were still closed.
Opening the Lido under the Government’s Covid restriction was not without its problems: An online booking system was introduced to enable entry numbers to be controlled, and a rigorous cleaning policy was introduced. But, despite these new practices, the early problem with the pool’s water temperature and the season’s less- than-Summery weather, the number of visitors who came to swim during the season – many of whom travelled miles to come along to enjoy our Lido – was equal to the pre-pandemic season of 2019.
The meeting, held at the Hampton Premier Fitness Centre cafe, was well supported and the management team from Peterborough were present to give an overview of their immediate plans and longer-term aims for our Lido. This was extremely positive and welcomed by all … there was active engagement from the members present, whose ideas and suggestions were well received by the management team. The meeting closed with buffet-style refreshments, which were kindly provided by Peterborough Limited’s catering team.