Offenders to help spruce up Broomhill

A GROUP of offenders are set to help clean up the area around Broomhill Pool as part of their work in the community.

A GROUP of offenders are set to help clean up the area around Broomhill Pool as part of their work in the community.

The joint project between The Broomhill Pool Trust and Suffolk Probation will see a team of offenders regularly help out at the disused lido to remove graffiti and get it in tip-top condition.

The trust and Ipswich Borough Council are currently exploring the possibilities of refurbishing the grade two listed lido, including reopening the pool or building holiday homes on the site.

Campaigners held a bucket collection outside Asda at the weekend and managed to raise �650, which will be used to buy paint and other equipment for the offenders to carry out the work. Some of the money will also be put towards updating the trust's business plan.

Mark Ling, from the Broomhill Trust, said: “The pool is primarily a concrete structure so it won't take a lot for it to look good. It hasn't had a lick of paint in seven years.

“We want to make a statement about sprucing the place up. It will help to preserve it.”

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It is hoped the offenders will begin work next Sunday.

John Wesley, placement manager at Suffolk Probation, said: “There will be one group attending, which is normally about eight offenders. It will probably be the same people going each week so they can get ownership of the project.

“Potentially it benefits the whole community. At the moment it is a bit of an eyesore for residents so they will be clearing overgrown weeds and it will help stop it deteriorating further. It is all about doing something for the community.”

If restored, the pool would be heated using sustainable energy so it could be open for several months of the year.

There is due to be a temporary cover put over the pool in the near future to protect it and the diving boards will be taken down and preserved.

The trust's Heritage Lottery bid was rejected last year and since then, they have been working closely with the council to submit another bid.

Campaigners hope the all-options report will be presented to the council's executive on September 10 prior to the entering of a second Heritage Lottery bid.

Do you believe Broomhill Pool is worth saving? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.