New hope for historic pool
THE future looked brighter last night for a beleaguered outdoor swimming pool, with council bosses poised to approve a £1million funding plan.Ipswich Borough Council's executive committee looks set to offer the grant to the Broomhill Pool Trust so long as it secures the additional funding needed for refurbishment and protects the long-term future of the pool.
By Danielle Nuttall
THE future looked brighter last night for a beleaguered outdoor swimming pool, with council bosses poised to approve a £1million funding plan.
Ipswich Borough Council's executive committee looks set to offer the grant to the Broomhill Pool Trust so long as it secures the additional funding needed for refurbishment and protects the long-term future of the pool.
It will also give the organisation the £58,450 needed to carry out a detailed feasibility study on the dilapidated pool if executive members agree the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday.
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The plans, if given the go-ahead, would eclipse the decision taken a year ago by the council's former administration to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for cash support.
The bid itself would have cost the council £67,000 but was deemed unlikely to succeed because being only open for 18-weeks of the year, the pool would not be considered a priority.
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In the meantime, the Broomhill Pool Trust has been formerly established as a registered charity with the aim of bringing the pool back into use.
The trust has already collected 18,000 names in support of the pool's reinstatement and a report to the executive committee recommends the council give it an opportunity to develop robust refurbishment plans.
Last night Cllr Judy Terry, portfolio holder for culture and leisure, said: “What is proposed to the Broomhill Trust is an opportunity to seek alternative funding to restore the pool themselves and find a partner.
“They as a trust will have access to different pots of money that the council would not have access to.
“If successful, we will give them £1m. The council is going to put up money for a feasibility study.
“It will be a study of the building on what actually needs to be done.
“The pool is badly cracked. They need to have the feasibility study first in the knowledge they will have £1m from the council if successful. I'm sure they will raise the money.”
The pool closed at the end of the 2002 season after Ipswich Borough Council calculated it was losing £60,000 a year.
If the proposals are accepted, the trust will develop a detailed business plan. Once funding for the project was secured, the council would consider transferring ownership to the trust.
Ms Terry said: “It's certainly a very good move forward. It was closed by the Labour administration and we thought this was a great way forward to bring it back.
“The trust were delighted when we put this proposal forward. It's a listed building and people are so enthusiastic about it that it's only right they should have the opportunity to reopen it.”