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Ipswich: Could Broomhill pool be back in use within two years?

14:46 19 June 2014

Hot weather at Broomhill swimming pool, Ipswich 

Dated Aug 1990

Hot weather at Broomhill swimming pool, Ipswich Dated Aug 1990

Campaigners seeking to re-open Ipswich’s only public open-air swimming pool are hoping to see people back in the water in 2016.

However that will depend on a successful bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund – a bid that is expected to be lodged by the borough council’s partners in the project Fusion Lifestyle in October.

In the run-up to the bid being submitted, members of the public will be asked for their views on the restoration but the Broomhill Pool Trust feels this could be make or break for the pool.

But Mark Ling from the Trust is up-beat about the restoration plans for the pool – and hopes that it will be back in action in the summer of 2016, 14 years after closing.

He said: “If the bid goes in during October we would hope to get the result from the HLF at the turn of the year.

“The restoration work would take about nine months, so the aim would be to have the pool open again in the summer of 2016.”

The proposal would involve Fusion Lifestyle, which runs swimming pools and lidos across the country, taking over the site.

One of the blocks of changing rooms would be turned into a large fitness suite which would be open throughout the year. The concrete front facing the pool would be replaced by glass panels, giving those working out the chance to see over the pool.

The old changing rooms under the grandstand would be restored, and the filtration system of the pools would be repaired and updated.

The project is expected to cost about £3 million. The borough has pledged £1 million, the lottery grant could come to a further £1 million and the remainder would come from other sources, financed by Fusion’s development of the fitness suite.

If the lottery grant was not large enough to include introducing water heaters at this stage, the water would remain at its natural temperature – but there would be the option of introducing heating, which could extend the pool’s season, in the future.

Mr Ling said there are factors that give the Trust real hope for the future.

The pool itself is in very good condition – although it has not been used for 12 years it has not leaked. “The water remains in the tank because otherwise the ground would push up the concrete, but it has remained full without being topped up,” he said.

The buildings have been receiving basic maintenance – a team of offenders from the community payback scheme has been painting the buildings over recent weeks.

The main pool is covered, but the shallow splash pool remains open to the elements and has been invaded by squatters – it is home to a colony of newts.

Mr Ling was quick to explain: “We’ve had experts check that they are smooth newts, the commonest type. They are NOT great crested newts.”

Officials from the borough are also working on the basis that a lottery application will be formally lodged in the autumn and are continuing to work with Fusion Lifestyle.

However the company itself was not able to make any comment on the plans for Broomhill at this stage.


  • Have we not heard this before regarding lottery grants? I have to agree with Ipswich Entrepreneur when he says Crown Pools should close.Perhaps a new department store would like the site?The Broomhill site does not seem to have enough parking spaces or access.Would it not be far better to find a suitable site & build from scratch.Bury Park & Ride comes to mind or the Portman Road Car Park at the rear of AXA?Perhaps there will be room for a 50m pool,& a leisure pool so we can create & train Olympic champions & create a national training camp as well as save lives by teaching people to swim & have fun at the same time.

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    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Well quite a few interesting comments on here tonight. 1. Poppys Dad nice to see you agree that councils should pay for things. So I presume you will agree to be part of Ipswich and actually pay for it. 2. I hope that this works. Because this end of Ipswich has very little spent on it. Secondly the lottery funding Ipswich gets is truly shocking when compared to NorwichCambridge. 3. To all the negative comments on here. Just go away and find something positive to do with your life instead of moaning. 4. It also shows why Ipswich needs to be a unitory council. Because what could fund this is the sale of the library site next door for expensive housing and moving the library in to this comlex. But they cant as it is owned by Suffolk CC. So good luck, but please include the heaters otherwise this will die, with no customers on cold days.

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    The Ginge

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • It would be fantastic to see this pool reopen - it was my favourite place to be in the Eighties, the pool and the boards just perfect! This part of the country has no other public diving boards that I'm aware of. The Crown Pools forbids you to dive anywhere at all.

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    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Mark Ling and his colleagues are to be congratulated and given every accolade by the residents of Ipswich and the sub region. I recommended that Broomhill should be repaired and refurbished in 1977 and it duly was with an annual budget for maintenance to avoid what had caused its deterioration to that point. I left Ipswich BC in 1986 with BH in excellent condition and well used over the summer season from April to September. Like all facilities that were provided during my tenure at IBC vital maintenance budgets were included increased,where required, annually. I wonder what happened to those budgets leading up to the need for major costs at Crown Pools (a pool opened in 1986) and closure of BH??? These facilities are provided for the community (BH by caring elected members in the 1930s) on behalf of the community who elect individuals to maintain their (citizens of Ipswich) buildings, parks, museums etc. I have always valued the provision of the Lido as an opportunity to swim in a safe open air environment and BH has provided great value and pleasure for very many years.I believe that the majority of Ipswich residents would appreciate the return of this facility with excellent support from the IBC and, hopefully, various grant aiding organisations. Good luck, more strength and success to Mark and his colleagues for valiant, hard work on OUR BEHALF

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    randall bevan

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • So many people with rose tinted glasses. Yes Broomhill holds many happy memories of sunny childhood days. But that was when they were so fewer leisure options, and when children didn't sit in front of xboxes or phones all day. I would like to see this venture succeed (and believe it will needs heaters to do so), but I suspect it wont survive the first wet summer, and then people will be moaning about the money invested in it.

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    John Felton

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Many a happy moment I spent at Broomhill. Only lived in Broomhill Road it was brilliant. Come on council getting cracking and renovate it. Also there will be jobs for people. And do not change the decor. It is a wonderful pool.

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    biggles the pilot

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • If its to succeed then I feel it has to be incorporated into a much bigger project. Its about time Ipswich stepped up to the mark and build around this amazing site....but not disturbing the historic POOL AREA.Why not create a car park on the Valley Road hill.....a fitness suite...restaurantcafébar.....child crèche....exciting water chutes......a manicured nature park in the woods behind the pool.....subsidised staff accommodation..... perhaps a row of residential 2 storey flats and a new library in Broomhill Road......Maybe some cash injection from one of the supermarket chains.....Ipswich needs to build big for a change.....Crown Pools is just not big enough for this town. ...Ipswich needs a recreation sports arena that matches the growing population of this BIG TOWN....Go for it !!

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    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Would have been nice to have a purpose built water park and fitness suite on the outskirts of town. *********** When Broomhill Pool closed... it wasn't too long after when the council ploughed many millions into refurbishing Crown Pools. Crown Pools should have closed and been sold for redevelopment... perhaps town centre offices, retail or flats. The council could then have invested partly in a new super leisure centre (indoor pool, outdoor pool, fitness suite etc) along with lottery funding and private sector investment. It would then be able to hold more people and attract people from miles around. ********* Now the council is willing to invest £1 million into Broomhill Pool. I appreciate everyone misses it and have so many memories... but the new pool if built wont be anything like the one of the past - its a new refurbishment with different proposed styling... it wont have the same emotional attachment. The plans needs to be shelved if they think the heating element is something that could just be added at a later stage... that is cutting corners and would delay full completion up to several years. ***** Some are indifferent, others are excited... but I think if it goes ahead it would be an anti-climax where people stop going after the second or third time. The million pound could be better spent towards building offices on the old Fison site as owned by the council to actually bring jobs to the town. I am sure those who loved Broomhill Pool found alternatives and I doubt the new improved Broomhill Pool would be up to the same standards that those people are now used to. I guess its largely the case of convenience for those who live very close to it.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • If it returns it will be fantastic news and hopefully cheap so we don't get any of our youngsters drowning in the rivers and other non supervised water areas around ipswich . There will be lifeguards and a safe environment . Its got my Vote . Allow small local businesses to bring it back to its former glory rather than the massive companies that normally get the contracts and it will employ local people too .

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    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Typical! Its been closed for 14 years - almost all my son's childhood. Closed during all his long summer school holidays. In two years time he will be leaving college and looking for a job so will no longer have the 6 weeks off in the summer to enjoy this lovely pool. It should have been properly maintained and looked after, and not closed all those years ago. It's such a shame that his generation have not had the pleasure of using this pool.

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    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • waspie's wife..it is scandalous that the pool was let go. It has served my generation, my children's and my grandchildren's younger years. Long happy days, with queues going to the end of the road. A healthy outdoor activity, away from the sedentary life in front of x boxes and telly. Don't make it all glass and ultra modern. Keep much of it's heritage look. Sad day for many children, mums and dads when this closed.

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    Thursday, June 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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