SWIMMERS have given the thumbs-up to the revamped Taunton Pool.

The County Gazette spoke to users as they left the Station Road pool after its re-opening last Friday.

The pool closed in October for workers to move in for the £1.2million refurbishment.

Swimmer Jo Woods said: “It was a real improvement. It seems much more family orientated and cleaner.”

Simon Ware added: “I was impressed with the changes. I think it will definitely be more popular now.”

Now the new-look facility will formally be opened by Olympian Mark Foster when he splashes down on Sunday (June 1).

Mark, who notched up six world swimming titles, ten European titles and two Commonwealth titles, will be joining the Mayor of Taunton Deane, Cllr Dave Durdan, as the pool is officially declared open once again.

He said: “At a time when I hear that so many swimming pools are closing it’s fantastic to be coming to Taunton to open one.

“This pool’s a fantastic res-ource that the council and Tone Leisure have created for the people of Taunton and surrounding areas, and who knows? It may even produce an Olympic swimmer.”

Work has included stripping out the building, making the reception area more welcoming, converting the changing rooms into a shared ‘village’ and replacing old plant equipment to improve air quality.

The revamp was funded by Taunton Deane Council, aided by a £500,000 Sport England grant.

By 3pm on its first day last Friday, 217 swimmers had passed through the doors.

Cllr Catherine Herbert, who holds the sports, parks and leisure portfolio at the Deane, said: “I’m thrilled that Mark Foster will be coming to the pool to see at first hand just what we’ve achieved.

“He’s a brilliant ambassador for his sport and is so keen to encourage participation, especially among youngsters.

“This is our aim, too, so I can’t think of a better person to be joining the Mayor for the opening.”

Mark will open the pool at 10am on Sunday and is due to swim against winners of a competition being organised by Tone Leisure.