Hampton Pool Trust

Why Hampton Pool Trust feels it’s time to act

The Trust faces the following challenges with our current facilities:

The need to improve accessibility

  • There are currently no changing facilities for families, for parents with children over 8 or for transgender individuals. We currently have just one Disabled changing facility that doubles as the only cubicle for family changing and for baby change.
  • Our gym is not currently fit-for-purpose; it is undersized and does not provide for people with mobility and accessibility issues.
  • The Sundeck Café is small and inaccessible to many – those with mobility issues or with wheelchairs or buggies are restricted from accessing the terrace. Café usage plummets during rain and poor weather as there is little shelter for customers to meet, eat and drink.

As a community charity that aims to promote the health and wellbeing of all local residents, we must ensure our facilities are accessible to all.

The need to replace the failing and dated infrastructure

  • The current building was built as a summer-use only facility in 1959/1960. After 60 years, the structure and plant are now showing significant signs of aging.
  • Electrical power used by the pool site is already at maximum output capacity. The sauna, for example, cannot run at the same time as the pool filters as this threatens to trip the power. As such, a new transformer is needed to balance the existing electricity usage. The transformer is a UK power networks solution to provide HP with an increased feed as it saves them a long dig from the nearest transformer and saves us the expense of that dig (it should also be noted that UK Power Networks will take the opportunity to use that new transformer to increase the capacity of the local street network. The transformer capacity will have far larger capacity than HP’s demand).
  • The current main pool filters are large and very old, dating from 1939 and 1959, and environmentally inefficient. They waste high volumes of water and use a lot of energy to replace them. Whilst they have some life left in them, they are likely to need replacing within the next 5-10 years.
  • HPT has also been in discussions with Thames Water over a number of years. The wider Hampton sewerage system, which was built for a much smaller community, is at capacity. This now means that a full backwash from the Pool could bring the levels in the sewers to unacceptable levels. Thames Water have said that they are not planning on increasing their pipe capacity and HPT therefore needs to introduce a backwash tank, something that would hold thousands of gallons of water and drip feed this into the mains. The cost of doing this would stretch to around £500,000.

Understandably, there has been a lot of public feedback and negativity around the current condition of the facilities. The current Hampton Pool building was built 60 years ago, for a different time and as a temporary structure. Current fixes have extended the life span of the existing facilities but wholescale upgrading is now needed within the next 10 years. The building is now tired, expensive to maintain and long overdue its first full upgrade of its current facilities and plant, the cost of which can’t be covered by the revenue generated from the current running of the Pool and concert revenue alone.

Hampton Pool Trust needs to invest in the future of Hampton Pool by replacing much of the existing facilities and infrastructure. Patching up existing facilities is not a long-term solution and will eventually become unsustainable. The new facilities must also allow for increased income generation to support the future viability of this much loved pool.

The need to ensure the financial future of the pool

  • At present the Pool makes a loss three out of twelve months per year (on average). Losses occur during the off-peak months when the use of the Pool is at its minimum, therefore any development needs to look at ways to generate new and increase existing income in these off-peak times.
  • The gym and studio are currently well under the standards required to allow for any increase in activity. Currently, the exercise studio needs to be completely full to financially break even meaning that any low impact activity such as Pilates (which has less people in the group because of the space required) cannot be run economically.

poolside sketch

Hampton Pool Trust needs to address the accessibility and infrastructure issues and put in place a business plan that will facilitate increased income surplus. The new business plan will allow us to enhance the facilities by increasing income during off-peak times. At the same time, by addressing the issues with the plant, our energy use and the physical fabric of the building, we expect to reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs by 40%.

sundeck sketch

The Trust’s plans

The Vision

  • To make the Pool site profitable all year around in order to create financial sustainability.
  • To make an exemplary community facility that is accessible by all.
  • To create a facility that is used by all generations of our local community.
  • To provide a greater range of activities for people with disabilities or health conditions.
  • To create a sustainable and energy efficient building with low running costs that works within the financial model to provide a payback on the investment.

Project brief

  • To provide an exemplary, sustainable facility, with the ability to split the construction into financially procurable phases to allow for minimal or no closure in operation of the Pool, utilising modular fast-build techniques to minimise disruption from the build process.
  • To increase and improve the changing facilities by keeping the existing male and female change and adding in dedicated cubicle, family and accessible change.
  • To improve the Café by providing a year-round sheltered space that keeps the visual link to the pool and Bushy Park whilst also maintaining the open-air sun deck.
  • To make the building fully accessible – adding a lift to the upper level.
  • To use sustainable materials and construction methods, including renewable energy systems that payback within 10-15 years.
  • To create fully accessible and financially viable Gym and Studios/Multi-use spaces.
  • To upgrade Staff change/Office/First Aid and Support spaces, including dedicated storage areas.
  • To include exemplary, secure Cycle storage to encourage visitors to travel by bike.

A phased approach

  • We will only build when the full construction and implementation costs of a particular phase have been achieved.
  • A phased approach will allow the building and pool to remain open and operational throughout. Whilst there may be some short periods of closure required, we will keep these to a bare minimum.
café sketch