Charitable status boon for pool

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:45 01 August 2010

THE quest to get Beccles outdoor pool open again has taken a massive step forward with the group running the facility finally achieving charitable status.

THE quest to get Beccles outdoor pool open again has taken a massive step forward with the group running the facility finally achieving charitable status.

And last night directors of Beccles Lido Limited revealed it had also been shortlisted for a grant that could see renewable energy equipment installed at the swimming pool.

In gaining charitable status, the company will now be in a good position to apply for grants and claim for Gift Aid tax relief, which adds 25pc to donations.

Director Maureen Saunders said that she was “over the moon” at the news. “It's been a long road,” she said. “You get these ups and downs, but everything's very positive at the moment.”

Graham Elliott, district councillor for Beccles North and staunch supporter of the project added that gaining charitable status was “another important milestone en-route to getting Beccles Lido open again.”

Beccles Lido Limited had to convince the Charity Commission that their aims were charitable and for the overall benefit of the community.

Directors also had to prove that the group will eventually become the owners of the pool, a process they are currently negotiating with Waveney District Council.

Mrs Saunders said that they are currently “thrashing out the finer details” of ownership and that they hope to be owners by Christmas.

Beccles Lido Limited were also celebrating this week after being shortlisted for a major grant that would see the pool receive energy generating equipment.

It has been chosen from almost 100 other projects from across the UK, and is now in the final three in the eastern region being considered for a share of £2 million to be allocated by the British Gas Green Streets programme.

The programme gives money to community projects wishing to be powered by alternative energy sources.

The group has applied for funding to install a pool cover with solar panels, which will not only save but generate energy to heat the main pool and the toddler's pool. Funding is also being sought to fix a leak in the pool and upgrade the boiler system.

The winning project will be one of 14 projects from across the UK who will all receive a share of the £2m funding pot.

They will present their case before a panel in Norwich on Monday night, when a decision will also be made.

Projects will be judged according to their potential for energy efficiency savings across the entire community, on local renewable power generation, and ability to engage their entire community and mobilise the support of other local residents.

Mrs Saunders said it would be “superb” if they got the grant.

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