£1million pledge for Broomhill pool
IPSWICH'S Broomhill swimming pool today has hope for the future following a pledge for a £1million cash boost.Ipswich Borough Council made the offer to the Broomhill Pool Trust which is to take over the management of the 1930s lido.
IPSWICH'S Broomhill swimming pool today has hope for the future following a pledge for a £1million cash boost.
Ipswich Borough Council made the offer to the Broomhill Pool Trust which is to take over the management of the 1930s lido.
However the money will only be paid once the trust has managed to raise the rest of the cash needed to save the pool.
And that could be a further one to three million pounds.
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Ipswich council leisure spokeswoman Judy Terry said the £1 million was available in the borough council's capital reserve.
However it would only be handed over to the Trust once it had raised the rest of the money it needed.
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The council has decided to abandon the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for money to save the pool after being advised by officers that it was unlikely to be successful - and the bid itself would have cost more than £60,000.
Mrs Terry said: "We have given the Trust two years to raise the money and save the pool, it is now very much in their hands.
"Once this has happened they will take over the pool, do the work and run it during the summer season.
"We all want to see the pool saved and restored - this is the best way we can do that."
Mrs Terry said the council was keen to hand the pool over to the trust so it could concentrate on running and maintaining the other two swimming centres in Ipswich - Crown Pools and Fore Street Baths.
She said: "Over recent years Broomhill has attracted about 16,000 swimmers a year while the other two pools get about 550,000 visitors between them - that is where we will concentrate our efforts.
"But we accept that Broomhill is an attractive centre in its own right and is very much loved by its users."
North Ipswich MP Sir Michael Lord is a keen supporter of the Broomhill Pool Trust and has promised to use his contacts to help it secure the funds it needs.
Mike Cook from the Broomhill Pool Trust welcomed the news - but warned there was some way to go before swimmers could once again dive in from the boards at the deep end.
He said: "This is the end of the first phase of our existence, to persuade the council that the pool is worth saving.
"Now we have to move into the second phase, raising money and coming up with a business plan to run the pool.
"Firstly we need to know how much more is needed to bring the pool up to standard - it could be anywhere between £1 million and £3 million on top of the council's offer.
"Then we have to work out how to run the pool. But this is very good news for us - it does give us real hope for the future," he said.
Broomhill Pool Trust member Sally Wainman had planned to stand in the general election as a "Save Broomhill" candidate.
She said today it was too early to say what effect this decision would have on her campaign.
"I am still trying to work out what all this means and will then make a decision on whether to stand," she said.