Ipswich’s Broomhill Pool wins the lottery – could millions of pounds be on the way to the town?
Hopes of restoring Ipswich’s Broomhill Pool have today received a huge boost with the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has made an interim award to the project.
That should pave the way to a £5.3million restoration of the pool that has been closed to the public since September 2002.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to provide £180,000 in development funding in the hope of granting £3.3m at a later stage to fund the restoration of the site.
The restoration and redevelopment plans, drawn up by registered charity Fusion Lifestyle, will see the complete restoration of the outdoor swimming pool.
The site’s art deco clock tower will be restored and there will be a new permanent exhibition celebrating the historic and architectural significance of the site.
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The redevelopment will also include a new-build extension which will provide health and wellbeing facilities and a café.
Officials at Fusion Lifestyle, the borough, and campaigners are all confident that the award of development funding is a significant step forward – and are taking it as a clear indication that the full grant will be made in the future.
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Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: “The increasing popularity of lidos across the UK is mirrored in Ipswich by the local enthusiasm to see a viable solution for Broomhill Pool.
“Heritage Enterprise is using National Lottery funding to unlock the commercial potential of this important local landmark so that it can be revived and enjoyed once again.”
The funds from the HLF are in addition to £1m committed by Fusion Lifestyle and a further £1m committed by Ipswich Borough Council.
Peter Kay, chief executive of Fusion Lifestyle, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have confirmed the backing of the HLF, as this has always been the key element of our proposals for the lido.
“This decision has been the culmination of several years’ work and we are grateful to a wide range of advisors and volunteers for their input.
“We are particularly grateful to the people of Ipswich who responded so positively to our consultation exercise last year and demonstrated huge support for our plans. We know that there are still challenges to overcome to bring our proposals to fruition, but this a huge step forward.”
Deputy council leader Bryony Rudkin said: “We are delighted with this further step forward in the bid to bring Broomhill Pool back into public use.
“We have made a considerable financial commitment to the project and will be working closely with Fusion Lifestyle as they develop their plans.”
Mark Ling, of the Broomhill Pool Trust, said: “This is a significant decision and a giant stride forward in Broomhill Pool’s revival. It has been an epic 13-year campaign to save a much-loved and much-valued part of the town’s heritage. We are delighted for the people of Ipswich, and for our many supporters and key local businesses who backed it all the way.”