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Have your say on options for former Grange lido site

16 January 2017

Residents will be able to give their feedback on the future of Grange’s historic 1930s former lido site this week.
Artist visualisation of how the former Grange lido site could look

A consultation event is being held at Victoria Hall, Grange, on Thursday, 19 January, from 11am to 7pm.

Last year we commissioned studies to determine a list of options for the site, including supporting business cases and funding arrangements, to ensure a suitable project can go forward.

This follows the findings of a report in 2015 which concluded that a pool option would not be possible for the site. 

Commercial property experts Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), supported by Amion Consulting and IBI Group, have been carrying out the latest studies, with a brief to investigate non-pool options that are compatible with the Grade 2 listing of the site and that present a sustainable, long-term, proposition that will create a viable community asset.

LSH has already held discussions with key stakeholders, including district and county councils, Grange Town Council and Morecambe Bay Partnership, about potential site options.

The emerging options identified are to refurbish the buildings and structure and open up the site as a functional and flexible public space, suitable for a variety of uses.

Possible uses for the space could include a café, education space or an area for recreational activities.

The group is particularly keen to hear from businesses or commercial operators that may be interested in using the space.

The LSH team will be presenting the options, including visuals and information, at the consultation event in the main hall at the Victoria Hall on 19 January.

Residents will be able to ask questions and give feedback on the proposals, that will be taken into account in the final recommendations.

Anyone who can't attend the consultation event on 19 January can still have their say.

An information display and feedback forms will be left in the Victoria Hall main foyer until Friday, 3 February, access from 10am-4pm.

LSH has experience working on other projects on historic listed sites, including exploring options for the Wigan Pier site, the Grade 1 listed Piece Hall in Halifax and redevelopment of the Kings Waterfront in Liverpool, which is adjacent to the Albert Dock and World Heritage Site.

The LSH studies have been funded by a £50,000 grant awarded by the Coastal Revival Fund earlier this year, which SLDC successfully applied for in order to investigate how a new future for the site could be taken forward.

LSH director Simon Turner said: “We have had a busy period engaging with stakeholders and local residents on the future use of the lido site. 

“Having considered a long list of potential options for the lido site, we will be presenting the emerging options for restoration at the forthcoming public exhibition and look forward to hearing the local community’s views on these.”

Our portfolio holder for Finance, Councillor Peter Thornton, said: “We are working to restore this site in a way that is sympathetic to its listed status but also provides a sustainable community asset.

“We share the frustration of local residents that this has been a lengthy process, but we are determined that the work being done now will lead to a solution.

“Inevitably it will initially require the investment of quite a bit of money to carry out the work required to re-open this wonderful site to the public, but it is also important that what we do doesn’t become a financial drain on the taxpayers of the district into the future.

“We have worked with our steering group, including Grange Town Council and county council colleagues, and have agreed that the options that will be presented at the event on Thursday offer the most realistic prospect that this can be achieved.’’

Councillor Tricia Thomas, chair of Grange Town Council, said: “I think I can speak on behalf of the people of Grange when I say how pleased we are that after so much time, energy and so many ideas this consultation will culminate in a real future for the old bathing pool site.’’