THE long-awaited reopening of Gourock's iconic outdoor pool went swimmingly well after a five month delay caused by Covid-19.

Despite the hugely-anticipated 'jump in' not being able to happen as normal, 30 keen swimmers flooded into the Albert Road facility when doors opened yesterday afternoon.

The team at the 110-year-old pool spent weeks preparing for swimmers of all ages to return to the water after pools and leisure facilities were given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government.

The Inverclyde Leisure pool should have opened in May but the pandemic meant the summer season was lost.

However wimmers were delighted when the council decided to splash out £36,000 to extend the season until the end of October.

Ready to take a dip at during the first session was David McCorkindale, Inverclyde Leisure’s head of leisure.

He said: "Hot on the heels of the successful relaunch of our gyms last Monday, it’s a welcome sight to see people back enjoying a swim.

"We introduced a series of robust measures in place to make sure our staff and customers could return safely.

"We’re looking forward to welcoming more people back to our centres over the coming days and weeks."

As well as enjoying a long-awaited dip in the heated saltwater next to the River Clyde, pool fans adapted to a range of new health and safety measures.

Swimmers must book a lane in advance and arrive ‘beach ready’, although changing facilities are provided after their swim.

Each lane is restricted to 10 swimmers and there are a number of rules in place to keep everyone safe during their one hour slot.

Customers earlier took the plunge at the Waterfront Leisure Complex from 7am.

Councillor Jim Clocherty said: "It’s great to see people back in the water enjoying Gourock Pool, which is an icon of Inverclyde and Scotland.

"It’s been almost a year since the pool was last used, which is extraordinary.

"The outdoor swimming season usually comes to an end around this time of year but the council has stepped in to support an extension until October 31 to support local swimmers and perhaps encourage visitors to Gourock Pool, as well as people from our other towns and villages to discover Inverclyde."