Olympic medallist Sharron Davies recently attended the official launch party of a new public swimming pool built on a family farm.
North Somerset farmers Martin and Debbie Ford Yeowood Farm converted an old pig unit on Yeowood farm into a 12m x 6m swimming pool last year.
The pool is open to the public for swimming lessons or general use on a book-ahead basis online.
“The pool took around 18 months to complete, and it was hard work at times, but it has all been worthwhile as this means the farm’s business has expanded,” said Debbie Ford. The pair came up with the idea of opening a pool after a visit to some friends who were running one.
When they decided to give up pig farming and were left with a number of empty buildings, ‘Ourpool’ was born. “Making the decision to turn the space into a swimming pool wasn’t easy, as neither of us had any experience in this type of project, and we weren’t sure of how successful it would be, but I’m pleased to say that almost 50% of the slots for this year have been booked which is a great start for the business.
“We’re finding that word of mouth is the best form of marketing for us at the moment, so we’re hoping that the business will grow over the next couple of years.” Innovation has proved key to the development of this unique pool. The pool was built by Somerset-based construction company Hellard Bros Ltd, and is heated to 30°C by a combination of solar power and a boiler which runs on elephant grass grown on the farm.
Ourpool is a sustainable development and received an ‘A’ rated energy performance certificate. Other facilities on site include two large changing rooms and a shared shower room with one individual cubicle.
All floors have non-slip tiling and under-floor heating, and the pool enjoys views over the Somerset countryside. The farm’s expansion was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and the farm also received support from Defra and Business West. The pool is part of a development which includes offices and business units, including a micro-brewery and a wedding photography studio.
Hellard Bros Ltd
Tel. +44 (0)1761 241208