Broomhill Pool could be saved
BROOMHILL pool could be saved after it was revealed that restoration costs could be less than first feared it can be revealed today.It is the news that campaigners trying to save the open-air pool in Ipswich have been longing to hear after it had been mooted it could cost up to £7million to restore.
BROOMHILL pool could be saved after it was revealed that restoration costs could be less than first feared it can be revealed today.
It is the news that campaigners trying to save the open-air pool in Ipswich have been longing to hear after it had been mooted it could cost up to £7million to restore.
However experts have today revealed that outside funding of just £2.9million is needed.
Now fundraising for the repair of the heritage listed lido is set to step up a gear after a feasibility study ruled that a total of between £3.7m and £3.9m was needed to bring it back into service by 2010.
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Ipswich Borough Council has already committed £1m and the authority today gave members of the Broomhill Trust the go-ahead to apply for grants for the remainder and to seek planning approval for the work.
The news was greeted with jubilation by members of the trust, who have been fighting for the pool's future and gathered 20,000 signatures supporting their cause.
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Mike Cook, chairman of the trust, said: “It's very good news. This is a milestone.”
A feasibility study prepared by a range of expert firms, which cost the borough council £67,000, found that the pool was not as badly cracked as predicted and the structural problems were not beyond repair.
Some buildings in the complex will have to be demolished but others can simply be upgraded, they found.
Mr Cook said: “We're going to have a complete restoration to the 1938 build including the return of the clock tower and the water feature and the pool will be heated.”
Members of the trust are now preparing to submit a £1.5m Heritage Lottery Funding bid as well as a number of other grant bids.
Judy Terry, the council's portfolio holder for culture, leisure and the arts, said: “The feasibility study has taken about a year to do and it is very, very thorough.
“We have agreed in principle at this stage that the trust may go forward with approaches to potential funders and to go forward with the planning application.
“The pool really is not in as bad a condition as everybody was anticipating.”
The restoration work would only take about nine months but securing grants is seen as the major hurdle in the way of the project going ahead.
Four operators with experience of running lidos elsewhere in the UK have expressed interest in running the pool, which closed for the last time at the end of the 2002 season.
Do you want to see Broomhill pool reopened? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org>
Broomhill pool cost £17,000 to build and opened in April 1938.
It was the only Olympic-sized open-air pool in Suffolk.