Major National Lottery grant to restore and reopen Ipswich’s Grade II listed outdoor Broomhill Pool

A man dives from the diving board at Broomhill Pool

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced it has awarded funding to help restore, redevelop and reopen to the public the Grade II listed Art-Deco Broomhill Pool lido in Ipswich.

HLF has agreed to provide £180,000 in development funding with a view to granting £3.3million at a later stage to fund the restoration of the site.

Built in 1938, the lido attracted 50-60,000 annual swimmers in its heyday. Described by English Heritage as a classic example of early to mid-20th century open air lidos, it has been closed since 2000 and is in a state of considerable disrepair.

The restoration and redevelopment plans, drawn up by registered charity Fusion Lifestyle, will see the complete restoration of the outdoor swimming pool, reinstatement of the site’s art deco clock tower and will incorporate a new permanent exhibition celebrating the historic and architectural significance of the site. The redevelopment will also include a new build extension which will provide health and wellbeing facilities and a cafe, creating a commercially viable leisure destination.

This money has been awarded through HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme which is designed to help when the cost of repairing an historic building is so high that restoration simply is not commercially viable. Grants of £100k to £5million bridge the financial gap, funding the vital repairs and conservation work needed to convert derelict, vacant buildings like those at Broomhill Pool, into new, usable commercial spaces that can have a positive impact on local economies.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “The increasing popularity of lidos across the UK is mirrored in Ipswich by the local enthusiasm to see a viable solution for Broomhill Pool. Heritage Enterprise is using National Lottery funding to unlock the commercial potential of this important local landmark so that it can be revived and enjoyed once again.”

The funds from the HLF are in addition to £1million committed by Fusion Lifestyle and a further £1million committed by Ipswich Borough Council.

“Heritage Enterprise is using National Lottery funding to unlock the commercial potential of this important local landmark so that it can be revived and enjoyed once again.”Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England

Peter Kay, Chief Executive of Fusion Lifestyle, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have confirmed the backing of the HLF, as this has always been key element of our proposals for the lido. This decision has been the culmination of several years’ work and we are grateful to a wide range of advisors and volunteers for their input. We are particularly grateful to the people of Ipswich who responded so positively to our consultation exercise last year and demonstrated huge support for our plans. We know that there are still challenges to overcome to bring our proposals to fruition, but this a huge step forward”.

Ipswich Borough Council's Deputy Leader, Councillor Bryony Rudkin, said: “We are delighted with this further step forward in the bid to bring Broomhill Pool back into public use. We have made a considerable financial commitment to the project and will be working closely with Fusion Lifestyle as they develop their plans.”

Mark Ling of the Broomhill Pool Trust said: “A significant decision and giant stride forward in Broomhill Pool's revival. Well done and a massive thank you to Fusion Lifestyle for an outstanding bid, and to the Borough and the Heritage Lottery Fund for their shared commitment and vision. It has been an epic 13-year campaign to save a much loved and much valued part of the town's heritage. We are delighted for people of Ipswich, and for our many supporters and key local businesses who backed it all the way.”

Dr Daniel Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that Broomhill Pool has obtained a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to refurbish and reopen the lido, and I congratulate Mark Ling and his team on their dedication and hard work. I have long supported them in what will be a huge community asset for North Ipswich”.

Notes to editors

Fusion Lifestyle is a registered charity dedicated to making sport and leisure facilities affordable and accessible to all members of the community. Established in 2000, Fusion Lifestyle is a highly experienced organisation, providing management services to over 90 sport and leisure facilities across the UK.

Further information

Contact Tim Mills on or call 07958 497 811.

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