Company requests £1.8m loan to finish Broomhill Lido project
- Credit: KLH Architects
The company behind a multi-million pound project to bring a historic outdoor pool in Ipswich back to life has requested a council loan to finish the restoration.
Fusion Lifestyle, which is leading the plan to restore Broomhill Lido nearly 20 years after its closure, has asked for a £1.8million loan to complete the Covid-hit project.
Trees had been cleared at the site in early 2020 and a contractor was set to be appointed but the first coronavirus lockdown meant work ground to a halt.
Despite the problems caused by the pandemic, Fusion said the company remains committed to the project but needs to secure additional funding - with Ipswich Borough Council being the only realistic option.
Next week, the council's executive will be asked to endorse the principle of the £1.8m loan to enable Fusion to deliver the long-awaited works to transform the disused Grade II-listed asset back into a much-loved swimming pool and leisure facility.
Bryony Rudkin, deputy leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The Broomhill Lido project is really important for our town and has widespread support.
"I am recommending that the council offers to extend its support for the project as – without that offer – the project would almost certainly fail.
"Bringing the listed lido back into use has long been an ambition of the council and we continue to value our positive relationship on this project with Fusion Lifestyle.”
The proposed £1.8m loan would supplement a £3.5m National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant and an existing grant commitment from Ipswich Borough Council of £1.5m. Fusion is also contributing financially to the project.
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It is hoped the site, which will be managed by Fusion, will open during 2023.
The council said the terms of the loan will require money to be repaid in full with an appropriate rate of interest.
Anthony Cawley, chief executive of Fusion Lifestyle, said: “We are really pleased that the council is open to lending us funds to support this project. It has long been one of our ambitions and despite the impacts of Covid we remain committed to it.”
Anne Jenkins, director (Midlands and the East) at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we were able to invest in this important project to bring the Lido back into use for the benefit of Ipswich and the wider area.
"We hope the on-going partnership between the borough council and Fusion Lifestyle will provide a high quality facility for health and well-being in a historic setting.”