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Lido team's hopes rise

PUBLISHED: 09:41 27 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:56 01 August 2010

THEY have battled for three years to save the Beccles outdoor swimming pool and now volunteers have finally been able to start work on the site.

Beccles Lido volunteers have gained access to the site in Puddingmoor to begin work following months of discussions with Waveney District Council.

THEY have battled for three years to save the Beccles outdoor swimming pool and now volunteers have finally been able to start work on the site.

Beccles Lido volunteers have gained access to the site in Puddingmoor to begin work following months of discussions with Waveney District Council.

The lease negotiations between the district council and Beccles Lido Ltd (BLL) are likely to be concluded early next year.

In the meantime the district council has given the volunteers permission to carry out basic work now that appropriate insurance cover is in place.

Beccles Lido volunteer co-ordinator Graham Norgate said: “Even after the first two days the pool site is looking very different and for the first time in many years there is a real sense of hope and a long-term vision for the pool.

“Under the ownership and management of BLL the pool has an exciting future. There is still a huge amount of money to be raised but being able to make visible progress at the pool is very exciting.

“It was good to see local councillor Graham Elliott getting his hands dirty while demolishing the dilapidated old canoe shed.”

Mr Elliott, district councillor for Beccles north, who has helped with the works, said a tree surgeon from Bungay would be visiting the site next week to deal with overgrown trees and those in bad condition.

Maureen Saunders, a director of BLL, said the group was grateful to local firm V C Cooke for supplying them with skips free of charge. “Support from local businesses is vital if we are to get the pool open in May,” she said.

Mrs Saunders said that it was thought about £50,000 was needed, of which the group had raised just over £30,000.

“We still need a lot more money and are continuing to fund raise,” she said.

Earlier this year the district council, which gave up running the pool because it was not cost-effective, agreed to hand over the running of the pool to BLL.

The decision was taken by the cabinet in July to transfer the facility with the condition that if BLL does not have funding for the pool in place by April 2011 the council will reclaim and sell the asset.

Anyone who is interested in doing work at the pool should call Graham Norgate on 01502 712369.

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