Could there be a buoyant future ahead for Broomhill Pool, Ipswich?
Images: Courtesy of Save Broomhill Pool
The Broomhill Lido was built in 1938 by the Ipswich Borough Surveyor's Department. The carefully designed complex, all in concrete, is a finely detailed example of the Moderne style.
The site comprises a large swimming pool, with a smaller children's pool alongside, and terraces for sunbathing. The original changing cubicles, diving platforms and a 700-seat grandstand survive. It was listed Grade II in 2001 and is now one of 17 listed lidos in England.
Following its closure in 2002, the pool was threatened with demolition having been deemed unfit for purpose. The council voted to infill the pool with sand and gravel but did not have listed building consent to carry out this work. The Broomhill Pool Trust was formed to campaign to protect the site and develop a plan to bring it back into use. They have worked with the Council and have found a not-for-profit partner to manage and run the Lido as a commercial venture, Fusion-Lifestyle.
In June 2019 it was announced that funding was in place. Fusion Lifestyle have raised £5m (£3.5m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £1.5m from Ipswich Borough Council) and will contribute £2m themselves. Ipswich Borough Council had earlier increased their funding by £500,000 to avoid the scheme being derailed by an increase in costs which arose due to inflation. The scheme has planning permission and listed building consent and detailed plans are about to be drawn up by KLH Architects.
The site will be open for Heritage Open Days on 14th and 15th of September 2019 - see the Save Broomhill Pool website for further details:http://www.savebroomhillpool.org. It is intended that the pool will reopen in 2021 almost 20 years after it closed.
SAVE applauds the determination of the Trust and its partners and wishes them the best of luck in their continued efforts.
Other Lidos on SAVE's Buildings at Risk register include the success stories of King's Meadow Swimming Baths in Reading and the Tinside Lido in Plymouth. Other pools still needing help on our register are the Lido and Cliftonville Baths in Margate and Cleveland Bath in Bath. The latter is a Georgian bathing pool which has a well-organised team behind a scheme to restore it and they are in the process of putting funding in place see www.clevelandpools.org.uk. Sadly, the fomer still needs a group to take it on and come up with a proposal to bring it back into use. Not on our register, but of great interest and in fundraising mode, is Grange Lido in Cumbria where a local group is seeking to bring it back into use as a pool rather than see it filled in with offices being created in the pool buildings. See the Save Grange Lido website for more details: https://www.savegrangelido.co.uk/