Broomhill Pool's lottery attempt

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to reopen Broomhill Pool in Ipswich are today stepping up the search for funding.

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to reopen Broomhill Pool in Ipswich are today stepping up the search for funding.

A renewed bid for lottery money is being made after an earlier application was abandoned before it was ever sent off.

The Broomhill Pool Trust got a big boost when the feasibility study into the future of the pool showed it could be reopened for £3.9 million - of which £1 million has been promised by Ipswich Borough Council.

Mark Ling from the trust said it was now investigating a number of sources of funding for the restoration work, including the East of England Development Agency, and appealing to businesses and individuals in this area.

But a lottery bid would be needed to provide a large part of the money and the trust has already had informal discussions with officials.

Mr Ling said: “We are now very hopeful with our restoration plan. Once all the money is agreed and the plans are drawn up it should take only nine months to get the pool open again, but we have some way to go to reach that position.

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“As a trust we should be in a better position to get lottery money than the council was when it considered making a bid in 2004.”

The trust is drawing up an official lease with the council, a process that is expected to be completed by September. It will then work with the council to appoint an operator for the pool in October.

Ipswich Borough Council was in the process of making a lottery bid when power changed from Labour to the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in 2004 and the lottery application was abandoned as officers said it was a helpless cause.

Councillor Judy Terry, responsible for leisure, said: “The trust will be looking for partial funding, not the whole amount, and the Heritage Lottery Fund is far more willing to support independent trusts like this than it would a local authority bid.”

Labour leisure spokesman John Mowles said: “The lottery bid would have been better with the full backing of the borough and it was easier to get money from them then than it is now when so much is going to Olympic expenditure.

“I wish them well and hope they are successful but there is still a long struggle ahead of them.”

n Is it worthwhile making another lottery bid? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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