Future looks grim for Broomhill Pool

BROOMHILL pool in Ipswich is to come under the spotlight again next week – but its future looks grim.Ipswich council's executive committee is to discuss whether to go ahead with a full application for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

BROOMHILL pool in Ipswich is to come under the spotlight again next week - but its future looks grim.

Ipswich council's executive committee is to discuss whether to go ahead with a full application for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

But it would cost £67,000 to prepare an application - and officers are warning that the chances of success do not look good.

Even if the application was successful, the HLF would be unlikely to fund more than 75 percent of the cost of restoring the pool, with a more likely figure of between half and two thirds of the cost.


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This would leave the council and the Friends of Broomhill Pool to find at least £1 million before any work could start.

Last year a steering group of councillors and other interested parties was set up to look at ways of bringing the pool, which closed in 2002, back into use.

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A report to the council's executive stated: "On balance the steering group considered the initial response from the HLF as unhelpful.

"However consideration now needs to be given as to whether a bid to the HLF is appropriate."

The HLF has told the council there is little precedent for it to fund leisure facilities - and it was not prepared to give any indication of whether an application for the pool was likely to be successful.

The cost of making the application is high because detailed reports from experts would have to be compiled - if an application was to be made the council would have to set aside £67,000 in its budget.

This would include £32,000 for a full structural survey, £25,000 in architectural fees, and £10,000 in market research and analysis.

The report says that Ipswich council owns about 40 historic buildings - and many of them are seen as more valuable than Broomhill pool.

The steering group recommends that an application is made for HLF support, and without such support there is no chance of refurbishing the pool - which would cost at least £3 million.

But the officers warn that there is a serious risk that the money and council time could be ultimately unsuccessful.

nIs it worth spending time and money on a lottery bid for Broomhill? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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