Could the big screen save Broomhill?

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the restoration of Ipswich's Broomhill lido are today hoping that the romance of the movies can help save the listed pool.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the restoration of Ipswich's Broomhill lido are today hoping that the romance of the movies can help save the listed pool.

A feature-length film - called Halfway to Heaven - has been created by Ipswich-based movie maker and Broomhill supporter James Sharpe, with all proceeds going to the Save Broomhill Trust.

Mr Sharpe, who acted as writer, producer and editor, managed to assemble a cast of established talent, including former Neighbours actress Lisa Armytage, and up and coming actors to star in his film.

The plot is fantasy romance, with all of Halfway to Heaven being shot in and around Ipswich.

Mr Sharpe said: “This wasn't a low budget movie - it was no budget!

“I have made a few short films in the past, but this is my first attempt at a feature length film.”

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Mark Ling, a member of the pool trust, added: “James has been a long term supporter of Broomhill pool.

“It's a great movie, all shot on a £500 camera.”

Broomhill Pool has been slowly crumbling since its closure in 2002, when Ipswich Borough Council deemed it unsafe for use and too expensive to renovate.

Supporters of the Grade II listed pool had hoped to secure Heritage Lottery funding, but their bid proved unsuccessful, with concerns over project management and financial viability as well as future sustainability.

In the meantime, the pool is to be filled in with sand as a health and safety precaution.

Ipswich Borough Council has previously pledged £1m towards the £3.9m restoration costs along with £58,000 which paid for a feasibility study.

Should Broomhill pool be restored? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk