The pool at the Fuentenueva sports centre in Marbella. / josele

Swimmers angry after two Costa del Sol public pools close suddenly due to spiralling electricity costs

The Supera company which holds the concession for the sports centres says it can't meet the extra expense, but users are unhappy

ESTHER GÓMEZ Marbella

The swimming pools at the Supera Fuentenueva sports centre in San Pedro Alcántara and the José Ramón de la Morena in Estepona closed unexpectedly and until further notice on Friday because of the high cost of electricity. The centres are council-owned and the Supera company holds the concession to manage them. It announced the move on social media, saying it is unable to meet the additional cost.

The unexpected move has been greeted by anger among users, especially those who had paid in advance to use this facility until the end of the month. However, the management of Supera says it would have been impossible to keep the pools open for the rest of March because energy prices are spiralling out of control.

One member who uses the Estepona sports centre commented that he was unhappy because it is the only heated pool in the area, while another threatened to take legal action against Supera.

The company insists that it can’t cope with energy expenses which have risen 300 or even 500 per cent in some cases, so it is unable to operate all the facilities at these sports centres, especially when it ha already lost so many regular clients and therefore income because of the pandemic.

Supera says its members are welcome to use the pool and other facilities free of charge at the Miraflores sports centre in Marbella instead, whether they are from Estepona or San Pedro, or it is willing to refund them for the facilities they have paid for and are now unable to enjoy.

Supera has closed about 20 of the swimming pools it manages in Spain. It says maintaining the water at the right temperature all day is enormously expensive and also points out that some sports centres are more energy-efficient than others, depending on when they were built. “It can mean that the losses are bearable, or are so significant that the viability of the whole sports centre is at risk,” it says.