Frequently asked questions.

Last updated August 2023

SGL is working with Westmorland and Furness (W & F). We hold regular meetings with officers and councillors. There are 4 conditions for their support:

  • SGL raises the money for the pool (we expect this to be around £5.5m)
  • That we demonstrate that our business case is viable and sustainable
  • That there is little or no long-term risk to W & F
  • SGL secures the support of Grange residents and Grange Town Council

SGL is confident that the money can be raised.

Our business case has been assessed by an Independent Consultant who confirmed that the case is viable and sustainable, with significant long-term social and economic benefits for Grange and the region as a whole.

The current W & F funded work at the Lido does not include the restoration of the North and South Pavilions, and the responsibility for that work will fall upon SGL. This means that SGL will be improving the site for W & F and to that extent the Council is satisfied that long term risk is avoided, as should SGL fail, then the Council will have a better site than when it was handed over to SGL. As well as this, our business plan shows a surplus accumulating over the first 5 years which will provide a buffer for, say, a summer of poor weather and low attendance.

SGL has a developing and productive relationship with Grange Town Council and we are confident that our plans will be supported.

SGL has already made great progress. Grants have been received from the Architectural Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We’d had our expression of interest accepted by the NLHF just before the pandemic struck and are currently updating that application. We’ve received funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund and have been invited to apply to the Community Ownership Fund for a grant of up to £250,000. We’re confident that the large capital grant funding will be secured.

SGL is registered with HMRC as a charity and can receive gift aid donations, which effectively adds 25% to the amounts donated.

SGL plans to arrange a community share issue as part of the match funding for our part of the redevelopment work, and we have a growing and successful “Friends of Grange Lido” scheme with over 300 members.

The Phase 1 work to the Lido began in April 2023 and is being financed by W & F. The work includes essential structural repairs to the central pavilion, terraces and diving platforms to enable the site to be opened up to the public. Phase 1 dovetails as far as possible with our plans for the pool etc. The work is expected to be completed in mid-2024 and the site will then be handed over to SGL. If by then we have sufficient funding to begin the pool restoration and associated work then that work will commence then, subject to planning approval and listed building consent. If not, then SGL will manage the site pending funding for the full restoration. There is more information about the infill here: https://www.savegrangelido.co.uk/whats-going-on-at-the-lido/

Our petitions in 2018 secured over 18,000 signatures, all of whom supported the full restoration with a pool and opposed the plans to fill it in. The support was very strong locally, and we believe that there is overwhelming support for the full restoration including a pool. We have large numbers of supporters on our social media channels. We have the support of the Eden Project North, and a recognition that a restored lido will bring significant benefits to South Lakeland and beyond.

SGL’s approved business case shows an accumulating surplus over the first 5 years of operation. There will be several income streams:

  • From the pool itself
  • Rent from café/restaurant/commercial tenants.
  • Catering from our own swimmers’ café
  • Merchandise sales
  • General fund raising
  • Events – music, cinema etc

Our plans for the pool are being developed with our pool engineers Devin Consulting. There are many engineering issues around the space available for the necessary filters and balance tanks, but we will restore a pool and make the site an attractive destination for all, reflecting our community and heritage. The site will be more than a swimming pool without a roof. It will be a vibrant hub for everyone to enjoy,

Ultimately SGL will look to heat the pool. We are currently working with renewables consultants on a feasibility study to make the best use of renewable energy on site.

The diving platform will be retained but diving from it will not be permitted as the pool is of insufficient depth to meet modern safety requirements for diving from such a height.

There will be disabled access in accordance with current legislation and the plans include provision for a Changing Places facility.

The pool will vary in depth from 1 metre to 1.35 metre which makes it good for swimmers and non-swimmers and safer for children than a deep-water pool.

It is envisaged that there will be competitive training and competitions in the pool including facilities for competitive starts from starting platforms and inbuilt automatic timing.

No, sea water is not available to SGL, mainly because we have lost the ability to store water from the sea in tanks where it loses contaminated sediment and can be reused in the pool. These tanks under the terracing can no longer be used. Another factor is that due to the tidal flows of water in the bay changing it is now difficult to pump water from the sea at times when it is needed.

The pool will use the most modern of chemical and filtration techniques. The water will be continually filtered and cleaned recirculating the entire contents of the pool every 3 to 4 hours. It is filtered in a natural way through a sand bed and disinfected with very low levels of chlorine at levels only slightly higher than those used in tap water to keep it safe from any infection.

SGL will manage the lido operation and will employ staff with help from volunteers. SGL is committed to paying at least the living wage (not minimum wage) and will aim to recruit locally. It is expected that there will be around 15 full and part time or seasonal staff.

The Berner’s Close car park was built specifically for the Lido and SGL’s transport studies include provision for the car park to be managed by SGL.

SGL is currently working on the business model to determine whether the lido can operate sustainably throughout the year.

SGL’s marketing will encourage visitors to travel to the Lido various means, such as bus or bicycle or by train on the beautiful Furness Line and enjoy the stunning walk along the Promenade to reach the Lido. Our transport studies show that the traffic impact will not adversely impact upon the town.

SGL is a community benefit society with charitable objects. It is similar in structure to a Co-operative and SGL is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Board of SGL consists of:

  1. Janet Carter (Chair) – many community connections in Grange, a volunteer co-ordinator with the National Trust and resident of the Lyth Valley
  2. Denise Armstrong (Treasurer) – retired Maths teacher, resident of Allithwaite.
  3. Hazel Blears – resident of Grange and a former Cabinet minister in Tony Blair’s government.
  4. David Dawson (Vice Chair and Secretary) – retired Solicitor living near Ulverston.
  5. Amanda Finan –resident of Grange and an accountant with the National Trust
  6. Terry Lambert – swam and coached in the Lido in her younger days. Former international swimming official. Lives in Leasgill.
  7. Kate McGeevor – resident of Arnside and manager of Stretford Public Hall, a community benefit society.
  8. Darren Millby – BBC Radio Cumbria presenter who swam in the Lido in his youth and lives in Lancaster
  9. Ralph Riley – lives in Allithwaite, and is an internationally renowned expert on swimming pool water quality.
  10. Dan Taylor (co-opted) – lives in Kendal and is the General Manage for the National Trust South and East Cumbria and Morecambe Bay.

The Board is supported by a committee of local people with a range of skills including property and heritage restoration, civil engineering, IT, social work and enterprise, teaching, marketing, design, law, finance, manufacturing, swimming pool design and maintenance.

SGL has an asset lock – once large-scale fund raising begins SGL will nominate a charity to receive any surplus funds if the fund-raising target is not reached or if the plans to properly restore the Lido do not come to fruition.

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