STAFF at Gourock's historic outdoor pool are being thrown in at the deep end - as they prepare for the eagerly-anticipated 2019 opening.

The team at the 110-year-old Albert Road facility are busy preparing for the annual 'big jump in' on Friday May 3 to launch the new swimming season.

Work has been on the go since the end of February to prepare for the 2019 curtain-raiser and this week it's been all hands on deck with staff, including manager Lauren Deveney, shift leader Niki Muir and maintenance officer Jim Lyon putting the finishing touches to the popular pool.

The floodgates opened on Wednesday when water started being pumped in from the River Clyde.

It can take several days for the pool to fill up and then around another week for the contents to be filtered, cleaned and heated to 29C.

Gourock pool and gym manager Lauren, who is preparing for her fourth season, said: "I'm getting a lot of email enquiries from people who are excited about the opening. "Jim starts getting the pool ready around February/March time.

"It can take up to a week to fill the pool, but it's generally a few days. "Then it's up to another week to clean, treat and heat it to get the water nice and warm. "It's going well so far."

The open-air swimming season will run from May through until September.

Traditionally, the pool closes at the start of September but Inverclyde Council has set aside £15,000 to fund an extension until the end of the month, for the third year running.

The countdown is now on until the big opener in a fortnight's time but some eager swimmers simply cannot wait.

Niki, who works at the Gourock leisure facility, said: "People have been turning up already when it's been sunny."

As well as making sure the pool and surrounding areas are in tip-top condition, staff are also planning the popular launch party.

Manager Lauren said: "It begins with our 'big jump in' on Friday May 3 from 4pm. "We'll have a barbecue, hopefully some sun and lots of families along to join us for the official opening."