SPLASHDOWN water park in Poole is due to open its doors for the first time in nearly four months, but have admitted their joy at reopening is overshadowed with "trepidation".

The water park, operated by Lemur Attractions, has been working with guidance issued by the Government and resources made available by the trade associations to get everything in place for their reopening this weekend.

Due to the short notice given to water parks that they could open from Saturday July 11, a “super-human effort” was put in by staff to get things ready to go for Saturday.

Group Marketing Director and Co-Owner at Lemur Attractions Group Jackie Richmond said: “As a director of the business, together with my husband, Alan, the past few months have been the most difficult of our business life, which spans 30 years here at Splashdown.

“Juggling ongoing costs, negotiating loans, rent and most importantly of all trying to preserve the jobs of our staff has taken every waking minute and then some.

“It has been an absolute roller coaster and I would like to particularly pay tribute to our Managing Director, Alan, without whose considerable business and financial acumen and knowledge of our water park we wouldn’t be standing here waiting for the doors to open today.”

Extensive risk assessments have been put in place and the water park, located at the Tower Park complex, have changed their booking procedures by running a cashless system.

All tickets must be booked online to back up the Track and Trace initiative of the NHS.

Overall capacity has been cut by around 60 per cent and operators are asking guests to book in 15-minute slots to manage the number of people through the changing village.

This is to help social distancing measures between household groups and to help staff carry out additional cleansing routines for sanitising lockers and changing cubicles.

Queues for slides have been split up into two metre gaps and households are required to stay in their groups during their time at the water park, with a minimum of two and maximum of four per marker.

Splashdown have even put in a new staircase to remove a queue from one of their main staircases.

Staff be expecting people to turn up in their swim wear and leave quickly after being in water park. Showers at the water park will be used for quick rinses, but only if necessary.

Lemur Attractions Group were able to open their sister park in Devon, Splashdown Quaywest, last week as the water park there is all outdoors.

Owners of the water park are appealing to visitors for their patience and to “play their part” in following the measures put in place.

Staff will be challenging those who feel that the rules put in place are for others and not them, and, if necessary, asked to leave.

Jackie added: “Obviously we always operate with high health and hygiene standard and SARS-COV-2 is known to be killed by the presence of chlorine in the dose we run with but additional measures are being taken with ‘fogging’ taking place overnight with specialist equipment and appropriate chemicals to ensure that we can do what is reasonably possible to protect everyone.

“I suppose, like many other businesses, our delight at reopening is tempered with some trepidation, of course, as no one can truly know the exact effects of the many businesses re-opening at this time.

“We are very grateful to be open, but we are in for a fight to see our business through to better times again and we cannot for one second take our eyes off it this summer.

“It is all about managing the losses, we are optimistic, of course, but it’s not going to be easy and we welcome all the assistance offered by the Government and will continue to lobby for further help for hospitality businesses who, are in a similar predicament, especially those who are yet to be allowed to open.”