OurPool opened by Sharron Davies              Wednesday, 19th February, 2014
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Farmers Martin and Deb Ford of Yeowood Farm launched their new business, called Our Pool, with Olympic medallist, Sharron Davies, at the launch party of Our Pool to open the pool officially.  Our Pool, on their farm near Wrington, is open to the public on a book-ahead basis online.  Martin said, "This pool took years to develop. I'm pleased we now have a top-class amenity for people in Somerset." Martin and Deb invited all the people who had helped them expand their business to a lunch made by local caterers, using free range eggs from the farm.  Sharron Davies said, "I'm really pleased to see such a quality development. Swimming is a great exercise for all ages, and to have a pool like this open for people to book is great for local swimmers.  Well done to Martin and Deb for such a good idea." Innovation has proved key to the development of this luxurious pool.  Up to eight people can share the pool at one time, booked in advance on-line.  Our Pool is a sustainable development and received an 'A' rated energy performance certificate.  The pool is powered by combination of solar power and a boiler which runs on elephant grass, which is grown on the farm itself.  The pool has great views out over the fields, full of Martin and Deb's free range chickens, over to the Mendips and Crook Peak. The farm's expansion was part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and and the farm also received support from Defra and Business West.  This allowed the farm to diversify.  The pool is part of a development which includes offices and business units, including Twisted Oak micro-brewery and Chris Morley wedding photography, and there is a meeting room available for hire. Chris Lyons from Business West said, "Martin and Deb came to us with this amazing farm diversification idea, and we were pleased to support them by identifying appropriate grant opportunities, assisting with the grant application process and business planning.  It's a testament to their business vision that they've seen this through to what will be I'm sure, a great venture." Deb Ford said, "It took some time to secure funding, and a year to build but it has all been worth it as this means the farm's business has expanded.  Lots of different people are benefitting from using Our Pool.  Local families pool resources and share their time slots.  It's also a great community facility as it has opened up opportunities for people who find sharing a pool difficult - we have a group of partially sighted people visit every week." Swimming classes are run for babies and children throughout the day by Puddle Ducks and the Little Swim Company, and slots are available now for people to book a class on their own websites or book the pool for themselves.  Deb Ford manages the bookings for the pool, she said, "It's very easy to book online on <www.ourpooltime.co.uk> .  To ask about renting the office space or hiring the meeting room call 01934 876393."
Photos: Steve Taylor