We are very grateful that a representative group of regular pool users attended a meeting with the Vive La Vallette team on 13th October at Les Cotils. It was an opportunity for pool users to discuss any concerns and hear about the progress of the project.
Thank you to Vanessa Marsh, Gerry Allen, Brian Chapman, Adrian Sarchet, Adrian Bott, Geoff Le Page, Mark Torode, Paul Mason, Andy Hall, Dave de la Mare and Dave Warr for attending.
Questions raised and answered:
Why is the project happening?
In Autumn 2018 the States created the Seafront Enhancement Area Programme. (SEA)
La Vallette was one of six sites identified as opportunities for development. The Vive La Vallette group and many others responded to that call for ideas and our vision was chosen as the preferred option to bring to fruition.
Is this a ‘vanity project’?
Absolutely not. The pools and surrounding area have provided joy and pleasure for users since they were built in the mid 19th century. All generations from all walks of life use the facilities and value what’s there.
The vision of the SEA programme is to “position Guernsey’s east coast as a world-class maritime location, thereby enhancing the socio-economic wellbeing of Guernsey as a whole.”
Our vision for the site is to respect, secure and encourage the core activity of swimming while expanding opportunities for a broader range of people to enjoy this prime area of St Peter Port all year round throughout the day.
This is a project initiated by the States of Guernsey, developed by a diverse group of islanders for the benefit of the whole community.
Why has there been so little information on the project since the public meeting at the end of 2019?
Ongoing negotiations with the States were complex and thanks to Covid-19, took longer than expected. Discussions were subject to levels of confidentiality.
An Agreement to Lease was only signed one month ago and until that time VLV were not certain the project was going to go ahead.
Planning permission was granted in June 2020.
From this point forwards we are in a position to be in close dialogue with all interested parties.
Has the States of Guernsey committed to maintaining the Ladies’ and Children’s Pools?
The States has agreed to undertake some work over and above the current regular maintenance on the Ladies’ and Children’s Pools which includes improving the pool surround.
Furthermore, the States has committed to continuing the current level of maintenance and cleaning of the pools.
When will the work start and finish?
The building work is expected to start in January 2021 and will take 12 months.
Is the kiosk going to become a restaurant?
No. Our aim is to provide a simple café offering, which is affordable, good quality and will include healthy food options.
Who is going to run the café?
Discussions on that front are ongoing with various parties and we are taking advice from local hospitality professionals.
Where will users change during the building works?
Temporary changing facilities will be provided.
How is the fundraising going?
We are a substantial way into reaching our target and have all matters on this front high on our priority list. The team is working really hard to make this project the success it promises to be.
Wasn’t the project going to be ready for the Island Games in July 2021?
Had the project progressed as planned, building work would have started in April 2020 and taken 12 months. This would’ve meant the facilities were ready for this international sporting event. However, due to the pandemic, the Games are postponed and this deadline is no longer in place.
Aside from the regular users, who else will use the new facilities?
We are actively working with strategic partners so that the site as a whole provides a welcoming and accessible location for all members of the community to engage with the surroundings. The year-round flexible space above the changing rooms will be multi-purpose and will encourage formal and informal engagement.
Will there be a charge to use the pools?
Can pool users still bring picnics and their own refreshments to the area?
Where will users park?
Parking is certainly one of those practical challenges to overcome. We will continue to work closely with the States departments to review the zones. We will need to encourage active travel and other innovative ways of getting to La Vallette.
Please email or call the team with any further questions and concerns.