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Open-air pool out of summer action

PUBLISHED: 15:09 09 June 2009 | UPDATED: 08:15 01 August 2010

BECCLES open air swimming pool will not be open this year, for a summer predicted to be a glorious one for weather.

Despite the best efforts of the Friends of Beccles Open Air Swimming Pool and Beccles Lido Limited, no agreement has been reached with owners Waveney District Council for the Beccles bodies to take over the running of the pool, with further meetings postponed till later in the year.

BECCLES open air swimming pool will not be open this year, for a summer predicted to be a glorious one for weather.

Despite the best efforts of the Friends of Beccles Open Air Swimming Pool and Beccles Lido Limited, no agreement has been reached with owners Waveney District Council for the Beccles bodies to take over the running of the pool, with further meetings postponed till later in the year.

But the Friends and Beccles Lido now have a target of £100,000 - the figure Waveney thinks needs to be invested in the Puddingmoor pool before it can open - and they say they are already a third of the way there.

Beccles Lido Limited had put forward a business plan that would have allowed the pool to open for a short season this summer after the usual essential repairs had been carried out, with the Beccles organising bearing the cost, with a small grant from Waveney and another from Beccles Town Council.

But recommendations from a number of meetings with Waveney mean that a progress report on negotiations, the main one of which would see Beccles Lido operating the pool from 2010, will not go back to Waveney committees before the autumn of this year. A report on further funding possibilities will also be put to that meeting.

It has frustrated the pool campaigners that Waveney had already considered and rejected any review of their decision that they would not open the pool this year, and insisted that £100,000 is invested in the pool before it can open. Beccles Lido has reluctantly accepted that the process of transferring the pool, obtaining the necessary grants and then preparing it to re-open means that it will not open in 2009 - for the first time in 50 years.

Now the campaigners are urging the local community and businesses in the area to get behind it to ensure that the pool re-opens for a full season in 2010. A number of business have already offered their support - both financial and with offers of materials or labour. If any others can help, call contact Shaun Crowley, 07710 976519, info@beccleslido.com

Mr Crowley said this week: “We now have a target to aim for - £100,000. This sounds a lot but we are already one third of the way there thanks to the very generous donations and grants that we have already secured. Longer term there will be other significant investment required.

“But once we are open and have proved we can run the pool then securing these funds will be easier. In the meantime, it is important that we raise as much money ourselves as possible, as well as establishing a steady source of supplementary income that we will need to run the pool on an ongoing, profitable basis from next year.”

The Beccles Lido Lottery, launched in April, is a key fundraiser. If 1000 tickets can be sold it would raise up to £25,000, and supporters are being encouraged to sign up to it - application forms are available from www.beccleslido.com or the Gazette Bookshop, 6a The Walk, Beccles. Beccles Lido will have a stall at Sunday's lions community fair.

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