Fresh Strokes

Fresh strokesAs winter approaches the number of new-build pools will inevitably decrease. Traditionally this opens a window of opportunity for refurbishment and renovation projects, both in the commercial and residential sectors. With all aspects of modern living constantly evolving, customers also want their pools to follow suit. They are always keen to hear about how they can make their pools more energy efficient, eco-friendlier, lower-maintenance, more stylish or simply more fun. Typical upgrades include the addition of features like counter current units, the introduction of LED lighting, and automatic dosing or a makeover of pool covers and surrounds.

The 2016 State of the Wet Leisure Industry Survey, undertaken by Golden Coast, found that refurbishment and renovation are consistently a stronger market than new builds. Managing Director, Jamie Adams comments: “We’ve passed the initial heyday of pool building in the 70s and 80s. “The boom has also passed for subterranean pools as councils have become less and less likely to grant permits for excavating basements,” he adds.

“With the market moving in this direction, it’s crucial that pool companies are communicating the benefits of breathing life into existing pools.” Tony Keogh, Director of Bespoke Swimming Pools – winners of the UK Pool and Spa Awards Residential Pool Refurbishment of Year 2016 – believes that the boost in refurbishments between December and February makes up for lesser interest in new-builds in that time. Fresh strokes 2

Says Tony:  “I would say our business is split evenly between refurbishments and new builds throughout the year, but in the winter months 90 per cent of our workload is renovation. “Our work is residential, and usually follows on from what somebody else has done before,” he adds. “Often people will go for a refurbishment on their pool and then need to get somebody else in to repair any mistakes that have been made. “Other times you will get unforeseen things that may require a full refurb,” he continues.


One example is marbelite pools. They were very popular in the 1970’s but over time the white cement will have turned brown. “A great solution for aged marbelite is to fully mosaic the pool, because not only does it improve the appearance of the pool but it can also save money on heating – more than you may think!” A previous client of Bespoke Swimming Pools wanted his 8x4m pool fully ‘mosaiced’ and less than a year later he was noticing energy savings of around 30 per cent on his heating bills.

Safety covers are another popular addition according to Tony. “Everybody wants a safety cover. We might work on one pool a year that doesn’t have a cover, or isn’t having one fitted,” Tony comments. “Once again this is because it saves so much on the heating bills and prevents chemical evaporations.”

In some instances though, a pool needs more than a face-lift. The recently re-opened Saltdean Lido in Sussex was one such project which required a complete demolition of the existing pool structures, plant and features. Aqua Platinum’s project included providing the new design and build of swimming pools to the original size and layout of the lido, and introduction of interactive water features and fountain as well as installing modern plant equipment, lighting and filtration technologies.

One of the finest remaining examples of modernist lidos in the UK, SaltDean Lido has been saved by local residents who have successfully secured a 60-year lease from Brighton & Hove City Council (the freeholders) to operate the lido site.

Fresh strokes 3LIDO REFURB

The £1.3m contract also included a heated pool for longer season use although the position along the breezy Brighton coast made working conditions difficult at times. Furthermore, the pool building is Grade II listed meaning changes had to be phased. Phase One of the project is now complete with a 40m heated swimming pool (from 0.99m – 1.90m deep) with a separate children’s paddling pool and splash area designed and installed by Aqua Platinum Projects. “We are thrilled to have completed the installation of the main swimming pool, dedicated children’s paddling pool and splash area in time for everyone to have fun and cool off during the heatwave,” says Dominic Searle, Senior Design Consultant of Aqua Platinum Projects.

Company Contacts

GOLDEN COAST Tel. 01271 378100


AQUA PLATINUM Tel. 01489 896 438

HEATSTAR Tel. 01983 521 465

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