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Broomhill restoration set to start next year - could it be open early in 2021?

PUBLISHED: 16:12 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 07 June 2019

New architect's impression of the proposed Broomhill restoration. Picture: KLH Architects

New architect's impression of the proposed Broomhill restoration. Picture: KLH Architects

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Broomhill Pool could be open to the public again in spring 2021 - 20 years after its last swimmers left - following the signing of final paperwork to allow its restoration.

Broomhill has seen no swimmers since 2001.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBroomhill has seen no swimmers since 2001. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Operators Fusion Lifestyle have now signed all the agreements with pool owner Ipswich Borough Council to take over and rebuild the 1938 Art Deco lido and operate it as an outdoor pool and fitness centre.

Tim Mills from Fusion Lifestyle said it had taken longer than hoped to get all the paperwork sorted out but there had been no major problems.

The not-for-profit company will now be advertising for a contractor to take on the £6.5million project to refurbish the pool. The work has been backed by a £3.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mr Mills said: "There are still a few final elements of the planning to be finally approved, but we are able to start looking for contractors to carry out the work.

Tim Mills from Fusion Lifestyle.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTim Mills from Fusion Lifestyle. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"We shall be advertising soon and then we shall have to look at the tenders which come back to us. We are hoping to be in a position to appoint contractors by the end of the year or at the very start of 2020."

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Mr Mills said he hoped work could start in the spring of next year - and expected it to take about a year to complete.

He said: "That would mean it could, and I emphasise could, be open in Spring 2021. I don't want to give a fixed date so people are disappointed if it isn't open on April 1, 2021."

Ipswich Borough Council's deputy leader Bryony Rudkin, who is responsible for leisure, is delighted that things should soon start to happen on site.

She said: "There has been a lot of progress behind the scenes to get to this point, but it will be really good to see some action so people can see the refurbishment start."

The restoration will see the rebuilding of the clock tower that was taken down in the 1960s and the water will be heated for the first time since the pool's earliest years.

It won't be as hot as an indoor pool - but the heat will allow it to be used between Easter and the late October half term every year, three months longer than in earlier years.

And the fitness club and cafe to be built in the former changing rooms on one side of the pool will be open 12 months a year - bringing in an income throughout the year.

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