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Lido on track to open in July

PUBLISHED: 11:41 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 01 August 2010

WORK on Beccles' outdoor swimming pool has continued, meaning a July opening is still on the cards, dedicated volunteers battling to reopen the facility said this week.

WORK on Beccles' outdoor swimming pool has continued, meaning a July opening is still on the cards, dedicated volunteers battling to reopen the facility said this week.

Beccles Lido Limited intends to open for a short season this year with extended seasons in future years.

Bricklaying students from Lowestoft College have got involved in the project and under the careful supervision of their tutors are now constructing a new access ramp.

This has helped provide work experience for the students and has saved Beccles Lido valuable money.

Beccles Lido volunteer co-ordinator Graham Norgate said: “We welcome the Lowestoft College input at Beccles Lido. It is another example of the local community giving support to our project and this will help ensure the pool opens this summer.”

Further community involvement has also been demonstrated by firefighters from Beccles Fire Station who have been working at the pool on a voluntary basis and have been assisting in emptying the pool in readiness for repairs and painting prior to opening.

Graham Elliott, Green Party district councillor for Beccles said: “This is an amazing community effort that is now very close to fruition. There have been many who doubted the power and ability of a group of committed volunteers to realise their ambitious dream. But those doubters are being proved wrong and Beccles is close to having a rejuvenated, community run open air swimming pool.”

There is a tight schedule of work if the pool is going to open in July, but Lido directors say they are confident it can be done.

Following a huge community effort supporters have raised more than £200,000 in a bid to save the pool from long-term closure.

In March, documentary film-makers started charting the progress of the project after it was awarded a £140,000 grant by British Gas. Just 12 months after its launch the monthly Lido Lottery is raising up to £5,000 each year towards the repair and running costs of the pool. It now has more than 200 members.

The open air pool in Beccles was opened in 1959 but a combination of lack of council funds combined with its age led to it becoming run down and uneconomical to run.

At the end of the 2008 season Waveney District Council announced that unless an alternative body stepped forward to manage the pool it would not open the following year.

The Friends of Beccles Open Air Swimming Pool, who have campaigned to save the pool since 2006, believed that the pool could not only be saved but improved and helped form Beccles Lido Limited.

Anyone wanting to sign up to Beccles Lido's monthly lottery can visit www.beccleslido.com or contact Maureen Saunders on 01502 714911

Any offers of voluntary help please contact Graham Norgate on 01502 712369.

Anyone interested in employment at Beccles Lido, and in particular anyone qualified to take on the position of pool manager, should contact Maureen Saunders on 01502 714911.

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