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What will you do to help ensure Broomhill Pool is restored?

PUBLISHED: 17:26 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 08 August 2018

Impression of Broomhill pool. The building to the right will become a leisure centre. Picture: KLH Architects

Impression of Broomhill pool. The building to the right will become a leisure centre. Picture: KLH Architects

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The Ipswich public have been asked to show their support for the Broomhill Pool – by contributing to a new fund to help close the £750,000 gap in funding.

Broomhill has been covered from the elements for several years. Could it be open again in 2020? Picture: LUCY TAYLORBroomhill has been covered from the elements for several years. Could it be open again in 2020? Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Broomhill Trust – which has led the campaign to get the pool reopened since it shut its gates in 2002 is inviting people to contribute to a fund it has created to support the pool.

And it is pledging £10,000 of its own funds to start the fundraising effort.

Mark Ling, from the Trust, said: “This is a major capital scheme so while donations are unlikely to make a dent in a £750,000 shortfall, they DO however send a very powerful message that the public supports the campaign and are doing their bit.”

The former changing rooms at Broomhill will become part of the new leisure centre. Picture: LUCY TAYLORThe former changing rooms at Broomhill will become part of the new leisure centre. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Trust has a Paypal account that people can contribute to on its website www.savebroomhillpool.org

He also urged supporters of the pool to lobby MPs and councillors to try to ensure the work goes ahead.

Fusion Lifestyle, which is leading the restoration project and will run the restored pool has six lidos across southern England, from Saltdean near Brighton to Shepton Mallet in Somerset – including three in London.

The former changing rooms at Broomhill pool will become part of the new leisure centre. Picture: LUCY TAYLORThe former changing rooms at Broomhill pool will become part of the new leisure centre. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Tim Mills from the company said: “They have all been very busy this year. And what is so important about a long hot summer like this is that people come back time after time – it becomes a regular part of their life.”

He is aware that some residents are concerned by the number of visitors who will come to the pool – but Fusion and the borough are working on plans to ensure visitors will be able to use the site without driving.

It was revealed this week that there is still a £750,000 shortfall in the funding needed for the work on the pool to start. Fusion Lifestyle and the borough council are confident they will be able to attract the necessary funds – but the earliest the pool could reopen is now 2020.

Mark Ling of The Broomhill Pool Trust. Picture: LUCY TAYLORMark Ling of The Broomhill Pool Trust. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

And a look inside the pool buildings shows how badly they need a makeover. They do get some basic maintenance to try to ensure they do not deteriorate further – but the fact they have not been used by swimmers since the summer of 2002 is quite clear.

The restoration of the pool will see the buildings on one side converted into a new sports and community centre that can be used 12 months a year. The pool will also have some heating installed – allowing the season to be extended.

Mr Mills said: “It’s not going to be as warm as Crown Pools or an indoor pool like that – but it will take the edge of the temperature.”

Tim Mills from Fusion Lifestyle.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTim Mills from Fusion Lifestyle. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

And he acknowledges the pool will be dependent on good weather: “This year has been great because the hot weather has continued into the school holidays and people have got used to it.

“Last year we had a good May and June, but in July and August when the children were out of school it was cool and rather wet – that is not very good for bringing people into lidos however good the facilities are.”

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