Crumbling lido wins architecture award

IT has been closed for nearly four years, fallen into a crumbling state and needs millions of pounds of investment.But that has not stopped Ipswich's Broomhill Pool receiving international recognition as an historic landmark.

IT has been closed for nearly four years, fallen into a crumbling state and needs millions of pounds of investment.

But that has not stopped Ipswich's Broomhill Pool receiving international recognition as an historic landmark.

The ageing lido has been chosen as building of the month by The Twentieth Century Society, a charity which celebrates examples of fine architecture.

Previous winners include the Barcelona Pavilion, the Shakespeare Royal Theatre, in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.


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Campaigners for the Grade II listed Broomhill Pool hope the increased profile of its plight will provide a timely boost in their battle to save it.

It coincides with a “Reviving Lidos” conference being held in London, on March 16. This will see pool operators, swimmers, architects and council officers brought together to debate how lidos can be supported.

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The gathering coincides with the planned July reopening of the London Fields lido, in Hackney, 18 years after it closed.

Along with planning approval to reopen lidos in Uxbridge, west London, and Droitwich, Worcestershire, and a proposed new pool near the derelict New Brighton Lido, on Merseyside, supporters hope it could herald a “domino effect” across the country.

Sally Wainman, secretary of the Broomhill Pool Trust, said: “It's nice that we have been recognised and we're very hopeful the fact that the issue of lidos has been raised nationally will help us.

“There are so many reasons to save it, not least with the university coming to Ipswich and with issues like obesity to tackle.

“There are successful lidos all around the country and there could be one in Ipswich. It could be heated and used all-year round.”

A feasibility study is currently being carried out into the future of the pool.

Ipswich Borough Council has pledged £1million towards the cost of reopening it, estimated to be at least £3million.

Campaigners, who have collected an 18,000-signature petition backing their cause, hope to find the cash through a combination of fundraising and lottery grants.

Opened in 1938 at a cost of £17,000, it is more than 50 metres long and eight lanes wide, with a range of diving boards and a grandstand for 700 spectators.

Underwater floodlights, changing facilities for 70 ladies and 108 men, along with heated and filtrated water, were other features.

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