Beccles Lido team praise community response as fundraising target is reached
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012
Just seven months after launching a campaign urging residents to plunge their support into fundraising for new facilities, the Beccles Lido team have reached their £110,000 goal.
The appeal went out back in April to raise funds to replace the pool’s portable toilets with a modern toilet block and changing facility.
And thanks to a grant from WREN, as well as well as donations from local organisations, councillors and the general public, building work can now get under way. The lido team challenged the community to raise £10,000 towards the overall target, and when the pool closed for the season in September there was almost £9,000 in the fundraising pot.
Lido director Maureen Saunders said: “We were delighted with the community response and despite the lido now being closed the donations didn’t stop. Now, thanks to a very generous donation from Norse, we have broken through the £10,000 target.
“In parallel with the community fundraising, Beccles Town Council very generously pledged £10,000 to the project and we have been granted another £30,000 thanks to a very generous local charitable donation.
“This was exactly the community support that we needed to support a substantial grant application to WREN and we are now able to announce the fantastic news that WREN has granted us £44,404 for the project.”
Other donations came from Suffolk county councillor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw’s locality budget, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Lovewell Blake, which were added to funds from the lido pot.
Planning permission for the old toilet block was due to run out this year, and with the facilities being more than 20-years-old the team said they were long past being fit for purpose. The new facilities will improve the experience for the thousands of visitors who enjoy the pool each summer.
The lido’s big fundraising event of the year was held last month, with hundreds of ale lovers enjoying the annual Beccles Beer Festival at the Public Hall. And on Saturday, December 2, lido supporter Bryony Seppings is holding a pub quiz at The Ringsfield Horseshoes to also boost the funds.
For more details and links to the Lido Virgin Money Giving page where you can donate, visit www.beccleslido.com
Having exceeded all expectations in raising the money so quickly, the lido team have issued a new challenge to the community.
Lido director Shaun Crowley said: “We would like to extend our enormous thanks to WREN and to the community and to all of the organisations who have so generously supported this project so far. The new toilet block will be a huge improvement to the lido, but what would really complete the project would be to repave and landscape that whole side of the site.
“The paving and concrete areas are in a sorry state following many years of neglect before we took on the site. And an amazing personal donation of £8,000 means that we are now well on our way to having the funds that we require to do this.
“Add to this the money raised by the carnival committee at the Beccles Pumpkin Festival and our community fund now stands at nearly £20,000. So we have decided to keep our community fundraising page open and hope that the donations and fundraising events will keep going until we reopen next May.”