A RYEDALE pool will not be opening this summer - the first time in 50 years.

Helmsley Open Air Pool has announced that due to delayed government guidance on the reopening of leisure centres, the pool cannot reopen this year.

Staff say the charity-run pool takes almost three weeks to prepare to open and it cannot cover its expenses for a very short season

“It takes considerable time and effort to prepare the pool; there is just insufficient time to do this preparation and open for any meaningful sales,” said Chris Parkin, the pool’s admin officer.

“The safety of all our customers is paramount in the ethos of operating the pool.

“The pool lifeguards are employed on fixed-term contracts every summer which commence when the pool opens; there are therefore no staff currently employed.

“I believe the Government is in an invidious situation with the pandemic - it is damned if it does, and damned if it does not.

“I do not consider myself sufficiently qualified to say whether the government is right or wrong in their approach to solving this problem.

“Having looked after the pool for 20 years, myself and the pool’s trustees are deeply saddened that we cannot reopen this season.”

Everyone Active, with leisure centres in Pickering and Norton, have also expressed their disappointment towards the government’s announcement, saying they are saddened by an unclear reopening date.

“As you can imagine, we are incredibly disappointed by the decision to not reopen leisure centres,” said David Bibby, managing director at Everyone Active.

“Our gyms and leisure centres have the ability to support more people during these unprecedented times, offering a lifeline.

“It puts the future of many leisure centres across the country in jeopardy, as the entire industry battles to remain financially afloat.”