Frequently asked questions
Will South Lakeland District Council support SGL’s plans for a full restoration of the Lido?
SGL is working with SDLC. 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 £3.5m)
- That we demonstrate that our business case is viable and sustainable
- That there is little or no long-term risk to SLDC
- 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.
SGL will meet with SLDC’s finance department to work out how to reduce long term risk but our business plan shows a surplus accumulating over 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.
How will SGL raise the money?
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.
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 currently close to 300 members.
Will SLDC fill in the pool?
The Phase 1 work to the Lido, due to commence in the latter part of 2021 is being financed by SLDC. 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. If and only if SGL hasn’t raised the money needed to restore the pool plant and equipment at the end of Phase 1, then there will be a degree of temporary removeable infill to the pool basin. The pool basin will be reprofiled to meet the depths needed by SGL.
Is there public support for a fully restored 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.
Will the pool lose money?
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.
What are the plans?
The plan is for there to be a 50m 6 lane unheated pool. This will be the only 50m pool in Cumbria and would be very attractive to swim clubs/triathletes. There will be a smaller, heated 25m 2 lane pool under diving platform.
Ultimately SGL will look to heat the 50m pool.
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, although it’s likely that the smaller pool will be deep enough to allow diving from the pool side.
Heating will be by air source or ground source heat pump. SGL aims to be carbon neutral.
There will be disabled access in accordance with current legislation and the plans include provision for a Changing Places faciility.
What depth is the main pool
The 50 metre 8 lane 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.
Will the shape of the pool change?
The pool will keep its mushroom outline shape, but there will be a walkway separating the 50-metre pool and the heated pool. The pools will use the modern system of deck level flow where the water in the pool flows over the top edge of the pool. This helps to keep the water clean and makes it easier to get in and out of. There is space in the pools for around 300 swimmers.
Can there be competitive swimming
It is envisaged that there will be competitive training and competitions in the 50-metre pool including facilities for competitive starts from starting platforms and inbuilt automatic timing. The nearest 50 metre pools for Cumbrian swimmers are some distance away at Manchester and Liverpool
Will it be a sea water pool?
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 and will have to be filled in to make them safe. 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.
How will the pool water be treated?
The pools 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.
What about employment?
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.
What is the parking situation?
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.
Will the pool only be open in the summer?
The restaurant and café will be open year-round with separate entrances from the Prom. SGL plans to have the Lido open daily from April to mid-October, and to have the smaller heated section of the pool open at weekends during the winter. Should demand be sufficient then the main pool will also be open at weekends during the winter period.
Will the Lido increase traffic through Grange?
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.
Will there be holiday lets at the site?
What is SGL?
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:
- Janet Carter (Chair) – works in Grange.
- Denise Armstrong (Treasurer)– local resident of Allithwaite.
- Phil Bradby – founder of SGL, brought up in Kendal
- David Dawson (Trustee and Secretary)– lives near Ulverston.
- Amanda Finnan – resident of Grange
- Terry Lambert – lives in Burton and swam, coached in the Lido in her younger days
- Kate McGeevor – resident of Arnside
- Darren Millby – Radio Cumbria presenter who swam in the Lido in his youth
- Ralph Riley – lives in Allithwaite
The Board is supported by a committee of local people with a range of skills including property and heritage restoration, IT, social work and enterprise, teaching, marketing, design, law, finance, manufacturing, swimming pool design and maintenance.
What happens to the money raised if it isn’t enough to restore the pool?
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.