CALLS have been made for Gourock's iconic outdoor swimming pool to be reopened.

With lockdown gradually being lifted, hopes had been high that the go-ahead would be given for open air pools to resume operations, but the green light has not yet been given.

Town councillor Chris McEleny says he has asked officials and leisure chiefs to come up with a plan so that swimmers can take the plunge again next month.

Cllr McEleny said: "Thanks to the efforts of people in Inverclyde we are now slowly moving out of lockdown, with more shops set to open and schools likely to be back in August.

“We are already seeing a lot of people 'wild swimming' in Loch Thom and the River Clyde.

"However, due to safety concerns that’s not possible or practical for everyone.

“I am confident that we could reopen the pool in a safe way by limiting the number of people there at any one time, by setting up a slot booking system like most English outdoor pools operate, and by ensuring lanes are used to keep a distance between swimmers."

Mr McEleny says he is well aware that there would be logistical problems to address but believes they can be readily overcome and that getting the pool back in business would help to boost people's wellbeing after months of lockdown.

The Inverclyde SNP leader said: "There will be challenges, such as likely needing to install external showers and perhaps not being able to allow internal access to the changing room area like people are used to.

"But I am confident we can overcome these and allow people to get back swimming, which is good for both their mental and physical fitness, as well as good for the local economy."

Inverclyde Leisure say they are taking guidance from the Scottish Swimming, the national governing body.

A spokesman said: "We acknowledge the frustration felt by some customers, however Inverclyde Leisure cannot open Gourock swimming pool, or any other leisure facility, until we are allowed to do so.

"Unfortunately, there has been no national governing body guidance agreed by Scottish Government to open any swimming pools or gyms safely at the moment.

"Inverclyde Leisure are however on recovery groups for swimming and all aquatic activity in Scotland.

"Being part of these recovery groups will enable us to be at the forefront of discussion on how to reopen safely.

"Once guidance is released we will review our recovery plan for leisure facilities in Inverclyde and do so in a phased, safe, and viable manner."

Scottish Swimming said: “In Scotland we are operating within the Public Health Scotland and phased route map out of lockdown set out by the Scottish Government which is currently in phase two.

"While open water swimming is permitted as an outdoor activity, our understanding is that outdoor pools fall under the same guidelines and requirements for leisure centres, which currently remain closed."