Lido receives £150,000 grant following most successful season ever
- Credit: Nick Butcher
In the wake of its most successful season ever a community-run pool has received a £150,000 grant to fund vital refurbishments.
Beccles Lido, in Puddingmoor, was gifted the money through the Garfield Weston Anniversary Fund – which supports community organisations across the nation.
The grant will help refurbish, upgrade and reline the main pool.
During last summer’s blistering heatwave 48,821 visitors made a splash at the pool.
The success capped off a remarkable comeback for the lido which had been closed in 2008 by Waveney District Council (WDC) after suffering an annual loss of £60,000.
However, the community fought back and since taking control of the pool in 2010 Beccles Lido Limited had attracted 40,000 on average each season.
To attract investment from larger grants the lido appealed to the Beccles community to help raise £15,000 last year.
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With donations from the likes of Beccles Rotary Club and Halesworth Golf Club Ladies the pool surpassed these – ultimately raising £15,165.
Lido director Shaun Crowley said: “The Beccles community has again showed its huge love and support for the lido, which we send our heartfelt thanks.
“Whilst community fundraising can’t hope to raise the huge sums that the latest projects need, it is incredibly important in persuading larger grants that the community really wants the lido to thrive.
“So I am incredibly exited to announce a £150,000 grant from Garfield Weston’s Weston Anniversary Fund.
“In deciding in whether to support the lido, Garfield Weston visited last summer and were impressed by the work that had already been carried out, as well as the funds raised my the community and the lido is extremely grateful for their support.”
While originally hoped to be completed in time for the 2019 season the upgrade will now take place in 2020.
But due to last summer’s huge demand the upgrade has now been extended, requiring a further £150,000.
Operations director Mike Summers said: “The hot weather last year meant that it was a full-time job maintaining the pool to the high standards our visitors quite rightly expect, but extraordinary volumes of sun cream meant that our systems were at capacity and we have had to act.
“We have carried out an upgrade of our plant room, installing new suction pumps, but more needs to be done”.
A second project to repair and resurface the approach road to the lido has now been completed.
The work was funded from grants from Waveney MP Peter Aldous and WDC leader Mark Bee’s Locality Budget, along with Beccles Charitable Trust.
Mr Crowley added: “Repairing the road has been an objective for a long time and we are delighted to have been able to do so thanks to the generosity of our supporters, and we have also been able to improve disabled parking and, we hope, eradicate some of the chaotic parking that we have experienced at the Lido in recent years.”
Beccles Lido Limited is hoping the local community will now once again rise to the occasion and help raise a further £15,000 which will help secure the pool’s future.
Mr Summers added: “This will mean the main pool infrastructure will have been completely replaced and the pool’s future secured.”