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Lotto cash vital to save town pool

PUBLISHED: 16:57 26 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

LOTTERY and private money will be vital if Broomhill Pool is to be saved - council tax payers could not fund a £3 million refurbishment on their own.

That was the verdict from Ipswich Council last night as its members voted in favour of seeking ways of funding repairs to the 1930s lido.

LOTTERY and private money will be vital if Broomhill Pool is to be saved – council tax payers could not fund a £3 million refurbishment on their own.

That was the verdict from Ipswich Council last night as its members voted in favour of seeking ways of funding repairs to the 1930s lido.

But while there were calls from all parties for the pool to be retained if possible, council leisure spokesman John Mowles warned that the potential £3 million repair bill was too much for the borough to pay on its own.

Opposition Conservative councillors, led by deputy group leader Dale Jackson, accused the ruling Labour group of running down the pool over the years until it reached its current state.

This year the pool has not opened for its summer season – and instead of being packed with happy youngsters on long hot days it is filled only with green water.

Last night's council meeting was dominated by arguments about the pool – early questions to councillors were dominated by members of the newly-formed Friends of Broomhill Pool.

Then the council debated an asset management review of the town's swimming facilities before it goes to the borough's executive committee next month.

Last night councillors from all sides urged the borough to look at securing money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore Broomhill, which is a listed building.

Former mayor Don Edwards praised the work of the support group set up for the pool – and urged his colleagues to work with them to secure more funds.

"The Friends of Broomhill have done their homework," he said. "We need to get their help to try to make a case to attract more money.

"For many many years, Broomhill Pool has had a very important place in the cultural life of this town."

Earlier, in their questions to councillors, campaigners emphasised that in a recent borough survey, 88 per cent of people wanted the pool to be retained.

But Conservative councillor Gordon Terry had a radical solution to the question.

"Why don't we give the pool away to a developer with some of the land around it and get them to restore the pool as part of the deal to develop the land?" he said.

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