Lido Latest 26.09.18 – A busy week on many fronts for the SGL Team!

Highlight of the week… Of course, this was on Wednesday 19th September, when Save Grange Lido (SGL) representatives attended the Grange Council Chambers in Victoria Hall. Present were Councillors from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Grange Town Council (GTC) and Cumbria County Council (CCC) along with Council staff and an architect.

SGL Chairman Phil Bradby and Steve Trevillion presented the preliminary business plan that they had prepared after 6 months of hard work. The plan clearly shows that it is viable for the beautiful Lido to be restored as an outdoor swimming facility on a long-term basis.

This would take away the current burden on the taxpayer, whilst bringing an attractive return annually for the community. Long term it would not become a further “white elephant” or burden on the council and the residents of SLDC.

Restoring the building as a pool and opening it as a Lido along with the other proposals within the plan, would revitalise the area, creating new jobs and boosting business in the area, revitalising Grange. It would result in a fantastic tourist attraction, a focal point for the community to be proud of, whilst also being an excellent health and wellbeing facility for both residents and visitors alike.

SGL made it clear that they were keen to work with Grange (TC) & SLDC to restore the Lido its’ former glory and beyond.

During the meeting the head of SLDC, Councillor Giles Archibald agreed that SGL would be allowed access to the Lido. This means that our experts can examine the pool and buildings so accurate costings and plans could be prepared.

It was also confirmed that SLDC were working in partnership with Grange Lido CIC on the Lido with a “soft touch” restoration, including an “infill”. The CIC was incorporated in April this year by SLDC Chairman, Councillor Eric Morell & GTC Mayor /Chairman, Councillor Peter Endsor & Councillor Clare Logan, with one other member. When asked for a business plan it was clear that currently they don’t have one to support their proposal. They did however agree to present their plan to SGL at a date to be arranged in the future, when it had been completed.

SGL left the meeting feel they had made some progress and embraced the prospect of having access to the pool to obtain the details for the true projected capital costs of the restoration.

It was quite deflating when some 24 hours later a nameless SLDC “spokesperson” was quoted in the Westmorland Gazette saying “SLDC is moving forward to restore the lido site in a way that is sympathetic to its listed status and to secure its long-term future as a sustainable community asset. This includes a temporary infill of the pool which would not preclude future plans for the site.”

The full article including quotes from SGL Chairman Phil Bradby can be seen here

This was later followed up on BBC Radio Cumbria, with Deputy Leader, SLDC Councillor Jonathan Brook, proposing a “light touch” restoration that would cost £2million and further stating that if you go to the next stage and “rewater” that you are probably “quadrupling” that cost.

This is in total contrast to extensive research that SGL have done with other Lido’s that have been restored and not even supported by SLDC’s own feasibility studies. Our early indications from experts in the field are that this figure has been well inflated and is not substantiated.

SGL member Steve Trevillion was interviewed on BBC Radio Cumbria on two occasions this week prior to and after the plan was presented. The interviews gave an accurate and true reflection of the position and the plan all of which are corroborated by research, facts and figures.

In other news …..

  • Earlier in the week Councillor James Airey & the Westmorland Conservatives showed initial support of SGL with a release on their website asking the Council to explore all options on the Lido and South Lakes.
  • Labour have already given their full support for the Lido to be restored as a swimming pool along with the other facilities SGL have suggested on the site.
  • There was a lot of press & media coverage with articles appearing in the Westmorland Gazette and North West evening news and a lot of social media activity.
  • On Sunday the hand signed petition to SLDC closed. Counting to date shows that the 1,000 signature target needed for it to be presented to the Council has easily been reached and exceeded. The counting continues this week. Thank you to very much to everyone who supported and signed the petitions, including the many people and businesses that helped with the petitioning.
  • The online petition has now reached 13k, so please keep signing and sharing

If you would like to further support then please either e-mail or write to your local councillor.

The addresses can be found here

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Campaign to save Grange Lido is getting sweeter

A Grange bakery has sweetened the campaign to save the historic pool on Grange Promenade by producing delicious Li-Do-nuts!

The sweet treats have been selling like hot cakes and are a good indication of the support in the town to save the pool from locals and Grange businesses who see the benefits the attraction could bring to the local economy.

Joanne Errington, shop manager at Grange Bakery said,

”The donuts have been flying off the shelves. Every batch we have made has been sold out in no time. It really is getting people talking about the Lido and sharing their memories of splashing around in the pool. Our customers are really keen on reviving the Lido and getting involved in the campaign. I, personally, spent many happy summers in that pool and I think it would be really good for everyone in the town to see it open and thriving again.”

Chris Barron, local business owner and member of Save Grange Lido said

“As soon as I saw the photo of the donuts on Facebook I popped down to the bakery but they were sold out. They have been sold out at least three times this week”.

“Restoring the Lido would be excellent for the local shops and businesses bringing visitors to the town. The Lido is an icon of Grange and the only surviving seaside Lido in the North of England so potentially a huge attraction.”

“Its such an important part of our history and could once again be central to tourism in the South Lakes. We are sure any investment in the Lido would pay dividends to the local shops, hotels, restaurants and other business.”

Recently, Save Grange Lido, a local campaign group, set up a petition, which attracted over 7000 signatures in just 7 days. The group are currently putting the finishing touches to a business plan to present to South Lakeland District Council with the aim of restoring the derelict open-air pool on Grange Promenade.

The 1930s art deco gem, the last of its kind in Northern England, closed its doors in 1993 and has been slowly rotting away ever since, despite numerous revival schemes over the years.

Owners SLDC are planning on spending nearly 2 million pounds on the grade II listed structure, however their proposals involve repairing the buildings but filling in the pool with concrete.

Save Grange Lido, a diverse group of experienced and passionate locals, aim to change SLDC’s thinking by presenting an ambitious but robust business plan to return the site to its former glory.

Phil Bradby, Chair of Save Grange Lido, said

“Lidos are very popular again and are helping bring investment, jobs and business to the towns fortunate enough to have them.

“We have researched and visited a large number of other lidos across the country and have seen just how successful Grange Lido could be.

“Other lidos show that Grange Lido could obtain the funding necessary to be restored and operate very successfully in the future.

“Times have changed a lot since the pool closed in 1993 and lidos are now booming again.

“SLDC are fortunate to have such a rare Lido and should look again at fantastic potential to create a unique tourist attraction.

Campaign to save Grange Lido is hotting up

Our online petition to Save Grange Lido has attracted over 4000 signatures in just four days, which means the issue can now be debated by South Lakeland District Council’s cabinet.

We are putting the finishing touches to a business plan to present to South Lakeland District Council who are currently planning on investing nearly 2 million pounds to save the grade II listed structure, however their plans do not include restoring swimming to the site.

Our Save Grange Lido group comprises of passionate locals who aim to change SLDC’s thinking by presenting an ambitious but robust and fully costed business plan to return the site to its former glory.

Pam Parker, who launched the petition on ‘change.org’ and is on the Save Grange Lido Committee said,

“When we launched the petition I thought it would take a few weeks to collect the signatures we needed but I was astonished to see the number of signatures rise so quickly. We reached the target of 1000 in just a few hours!”

“The petition says: ‘We want Grange Lido restoration to include the swimming pool, and South Lakeland District Council to confirm that any option without a swimming pool will be ruled out” we hope this will get the council to confirm that they will not fill the pool basin with concrete as they are planning to do.’

Pam said “SLDC rules say that petitions with 1000 or more signatures must be debated in Full Council which will give us a fantastic opportunity to hear what the councillors have to say.”

In 2018 a Community Interest Company was established to find alternative uses for the pool site. They have ruled out swimming and claim public interest in retaining a pool has fallen remarkedly.

Phil Bradby, chair of Save Grange Lido, said “this statement from the CIC is clearly not true at all. The interest in the Lido and outdoor swimming has never been higher as the incredible response to the petition and the 3000 supporters on Facebook show. Some councillors have also been saying that in the last consultation showed that there was no local interest in swimming in the Lido but they neglect to say that the consultation didn’t offer swimming as an option! The consultation immediately before it which had a swimming pool in the range of options showed that 74% of people wanted it restored as a swimming pool”

“We think that without a swimming pool the Lido ceases to have any function and won’t attract visitors. It will just become a sad patch of concrete where a Lido used to be and no-doubt will become another council white elephant”

“Sport for England’s Active People Survey showed the huge increase in outdoor swimming in the last few years and other Lidos in the country have seen a huge renaissance and are booming. They say that swimming is still the UK’s most popular participation sport with 2.5 million adults swimming each week”

“Grange Lido has the potential to be the jewel in South Lakes’ crown and to attract visitors from far and wide. We are confident that our business plan can make the Lido economically viable and would bring excellent value to local taxpayers and swimmers alike”

The plan acknowledges the difficulty of making a swimming pool pay its way in the temperamental UK climate, however, Grange Lido is very fortunate to have a good range of useful buildings which present excellent opportunities to generate income to cover the running costs of the whole facility. The imaginative use of these buildings is the key to the successful redevelopment and future of the Lido.

If you would like to support our cause, please sign our online petition. A link can be found here.

Save Grange Lido group meets with Tim Farron

Members of the Save Grange Lido group meet with local MP Tim Farron

Members of the Save Grange Lido group met with Tim Farron on Thursday 10th May when he was in Grange-over-Sands for his Town Hall Meeting at Grange Parish Church, where residents were able to put their questions to Tim and raise and discuss issues of concern to local people.

The meeting was very successful and good natured, some of the group had dressed in swimming costumes for the event, which helped to bringa smile to proceedings. It also helped to attract attention to the cause of saving Grange Lido from local and national press and radio stations, bringing much needed publicity to the group.

Here is a selection of press articles from the day:
BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-44085053

NW Evening Mail: http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/grange/Swimming-costume-protests-as-Save-Grange-Lido-group-meet-with-local-MP-51f686b7-afa8-4436-aa40-44a1e5cdea2a-ds

Heart: http://www.heart.co.uk/northlancs/news/local/swimsuit-campaigners-press-mp-on-lido/