Broomhill bosses still confident Ipswich lido will reopen
- Credit: Ormiston Endeavour Academy
The company planning to restore and reopen Broomhill Pool in Ipswich has insisted their ambitious scheme to turn it into a year-round leisure centre is still on course, despite being delayed by the Covid pandemic.
Work to clear trees around the site started in early 2020 just weeks before the first lockdown came in.
The full restoration had been due to start around Easter last year and there were hopes that the new leisure centre would be open this summer.
However, the pandemic forced everything to be put on hold and still nothing further has happened. This has led to fears among some campaigners that the restoration may never happen.
But Fusion Lifestyle, which is leading the National Lottery-backed restoration of the pool, has insisted it still plans to go ahead with the scheme, although its priority at present is getting its existing leisure centres around the country up and running again.
Anthony Cawley, director of operations at Fusion, said: “We are still fully committed to the redevelopment of Broomhill Lido. We will be revisiting the development plans again as soon as possible.”
The lack of action since the start of lockdown relaxations has prompted the Community Champions from the Ormiston Endeavour Academy to start an online petition calling for work to restart as soon as possible - a move backed by the Broomhill Pool Trust, which has been campaigning for its reopening since it closed in 2002.
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The 12 Community Champions, aged between 11 and 15, also wrote an open letter to Fusion Lifestyle, Ipswich council, and the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the town's two MPs to get their support for the work to be completed.
Their letter says: "We want them to know that we appreciate all their efforts to get this project close to fruition prior to the Covid pandemic. We continue to support them and ask that they do all they can to re-activate the restoration of Broomhill Pool as we emerge from this unprecedented challenge."
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Their petition has so far attracted nearly 500 signatures on change.org in a bid to get the £7m restoration programme started.
The aim is to create an all-year leisure centre on one side of the pool, and introduce some heating to allow the restored outdoor pool to be able to be used for more of the year than had been the case before its closure.