Hopes are rising that there could be a breakthrough in the battle to secure the funding to restore Ipswich's Broomhill Lido after years of discussion.

It looked as if the work on the pool was about to start in early 2020 when work started cutting back the trees next to the buildings before contractors moved in.

National Lottery funding and support from the borough - which owns the site - were secured and everything was ready to go. Ipswich Star: Are we nearer seeing this dream of Broomhill's restoration realised?Are we nearer seeing this dream of Broomhill's restoration realised? (Image: Ipswich Borough Council/KLH Architects)

But the Covid pandemic - and then the serious inflation we have seen since then - hit the leisure industry hard and the costs of carrying out the work rocketted.

Work has been stalled because there is now a huge shortfall in the funding - but the National Lottery has indicated its offer is still on the table and the company planning to take on the project and run the revamped leisure centre, Fusion Lifestyle, still hopes to take it forward.

A recent meeting of the borough's executive discussed the current situation - but because their discussion involved commercially sensitive financial issues it had to be during the closed part of the agenda.

However it is understood that the details they heard gave them grounds to be optimistic that the project could be restarted.

The decisions made could enable work to start quickly once the various partners in the scheme are able to agree on the way forward.

The proposal is that the revamped site should be open around the year with dry leisure facilities and the lido would be heated to allow it to open from Easter to October - much longer than it used to be open before it closed in 2002.