First stage of Broomhill Pool revamp gets underway
PUBLISHED: 05:30 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:02 07 February 2020
The first preparatory work before the restoration of Broomhill lido can start has begun after tree surgeons moved on to the site.
Work to actually restore and develop the pool, which has been closed since 2002, is still some months away because its operator Fusion Lifestyle is still going through the tendering procedure to find a contractor to carry out the project.
However the trees need to be thinned before work can start and because of regulations restricting major work to trees and shrubs during the bird-nesting season it has to be done outside the spring period.
Tim Mills from Fusion Lifestyle said the work was due to be completed by the end of next week - and that should mean that when the contract is let, work should be able to get under way quickly.
He said: "I'm afraid it doesn't mean that we are actually starting with the restoration, but it is important that we get this done and I know a lot of people are interested in what is happening.
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"We have told local residents what is going on, but I know there is a lot of interest in what is happening there from a lot of people in Ipswich and we hope things will move on quickly."
The £6.5m restoration of the lido will create an all-year leisure complex on the site and will also provide some heating to allow the outdoor pool to be used for more of the year than it was in the past.
There will be a fitness centre, cafe and community facilities to give a focal point, together with the library next door, for people who live in the Broomhill area of the town.
The battle to reopen the pool has been long and hard - and spearheaded by the Broomhill Pool Trust which kept the dream alive after the borough announced in early 2003 that it would not be able to open it for its summer season.
Since then there has been a long battle to get the money and the support together to reopen the 1938-built pool - but the success was eventually guaranteed when a £3.4m grant was secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
However substantial amounts were also needed from the borough council and Fusion Lifestyle.
If work is able to start in the spring of this year, Mr Mills hopes that the first people could be swimming in the outdoor pool again in the summer of next year.