Save Grange Lido was established in 2011. It came out of a public reaction to what many people felt was a short-sighted and highly destructive plan to demolish the buildings and fill the pool basin with rubble and concrete. The original campaigners successfully appealed to English Heritage to grant the Lido grade II listing, this recognises its regional historic importance as a rare and intact example of its type.
The group has grown year upon year, and now comprises local people from a range of different backgrounds and specialisms. It includes experts in tourism, leisure management, restoration of historic buildings, marketing, law, IT, journalism, history, architecture, social media, academia, and business; as well as concerned mums, dads and grandparents. The group has people from the Cartmel peninsular, the south Lake District, and the Lido’s wider catchment area across the Lakes and into Lancashire. Everybody shares the vision of seeing Grange Lido restored to its former glory and will not rest until this goal is achieved.
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.
THE SAVE GRANGE LIDO BUSINESS PLAN IS NOW AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD
CLICK THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD THE BUISINESS PLAN (FILE SIZE 3mb)
Unlike other proposals for the Lido, our plans restore the dramatically shaped 50m swimming basin to be the focal point and star attraction, so that the Lido can become a regional tourist attraction and community facility. Other proposals and suggestions involve filling the pool with landscape infill, but this removes the beauty and attraction of the Lido, and it ceases to have any commercially viable function. We fear a Lido without a pool will become a white elephant and continue to be a drain on local taxpayers for a long time to come.
Our plans have been based on careful research, hard financial information and copy business plans from a number of successfully operating Lidos like the Jubilee Pool in Penzance, Portishead Lido, Saltdean Lido, Bristol Lido, Faversham Pools, Thames Lido in Reading, Lido Ponty in Wales and Stonehaven in Scotland.
Studio Octopi Architects have very kindly prepared a set of plans to show how the Lido spaces could be re-modelled to create a viable modern facility. Please click an image to view a larger detailed version.
Our new plans include a magnificent 4,800sqft cafe & restaurant, with a 1,800sqft terrace looking directly over the lido and out over Morecambe Bay. The cafe and restaurant building has its own independent entrance, kitchens and toilets, so it can be open all year round, generating a substantial income from visitors from the local area, and tourists from far and wide.
In addition to essential pool facilities, changing rooms and lifeguard station there is space for a stand-alone 3500sqft spa and wellness facility, which again has an independent entrance, and can be open all year round. This facility will also bring a useful income to help the running costs of the whole facility. The buildings also presents the opportunity for some holiday lets to bring further income.
The diving area has been re-imagined as a 708sqft bar function space with a1700sqft roof terrace with breath-taking panoramic views. Again this space can contribute to the running costs.
Obviously, the centre piece of the plans is the historic mushroom shaped pool which is one of just a very few 50m swimming facilities in the north of England. This will be open for the summer months for general swimming and could be opened for one off swimming galas and events (like the hugely popular the Chillswim) outside the general summer season. Part of the basin has been divided so that it could be heated and the ever-popular children’s splash pool will be restored. The basin will be fenced, lit and managed so that it remains a dramatic focal point, even when not in use for swimming.
The Lido has historically had a large car park which was important for coaches and cars visiting the complex. Part of the Lido car park is still in use and we think this should remain available to the Lido in the future. The car park would be used much more than it is at present and could generate an additional income for the Local Council. The Council have already sold off significant areas of land including the Berners pool site and its car park, and loss of further parking would be detrimental to the Lido and local area.
Grange Lido is dramatically located on the southern edge of the Lake District, in the pretty Edwardian town of Grange-over-Sands, and has fantastic views over Morecambe Bay. It is very well connected by road and rail, being a short distance from the M6, and is within reach of the north west conurbation which includes the cities of Manchester and Liverpool.
Some 3.5 million people live within a 50-mile radius and the Lake District attracts in the region of 40 million visitors each year. This catchment and the visitors to the region provide a substantial market for the redeveloped Lido.
The Local Council has earmarked £2 million which has been raised from the sale of adjacent land for housing developments. There are options of funding from sources like Heritage Lottery and the Coastal Communities Fund. We believe it is possible to raise the funds necessary for the restoration, particularly as the Local Council’s current plans estimate spending £3 million, much of which would be wasted on concrete to fill in the swimming pool.
Our plans demonstrate how Grange Lido can be sensitively restored to be an economically viable swimming and tourism facility. The new facility has the potential to draw visitors from a large catchment and to tap into the huge number of people who visit the Lake District each year. Previous studies have focused on the local market for swimming and neglected that fact that the Lido is a very rare and important historic building which could easily have a regional draw, and generate substantial income from non-swimming activities.
These plans offer best value for local taxpayers and a real opportunity for the restored Lido to be economically independent. The revitalised Lido would create new jobs and bring significant economic benefits to Grange and the wider area. They would also provide an invaluable community asset, promoting health and wellbeing for people of all ages.</span.