Scheme to repair and refurbish Grange Lido approved
27 February 2020
Work can now start on making the derelict Grange Lido site stable, safe and accessible after plans were approved for a “light-touch” refurbishment including landscaping and other work.
The repairs and refurbishment at the derelict South Lakeland District Council-owned site will preserve it for the benefit of the community and see it reopen to the public again after more than 25 years.
SLDC's planning committee considered the application and listed building consent needed in order to carry out the repairs and voted to approve the scheme, which will cost a total of £1.96m
The plans will also create a new multi-use public space for the local community and visitors and include landscaping and public realm improvements.
Councillor Jonathan Brook, SLDC’s Deputy Leader, said: “Urgent action was needed to save this important community asset before it deteriorated further and repair costs became exorbitant. We are delighted work can start and our vision of bringing the site back into public use can begin to be realised, with the option of bringing the pool back into use sometime in the future still open.
"The Lido is much loved by many in our community and further afield, as well as being a valuable part of our cultural heritage. This considerable capital commitment from SLDC will safeguard the Lido for future generations."
SLDC’s Full Council had previously approved capital expenditure of £960,000 in 2019/20 and £1m in 2020/21 for the project. An estimated £1.3 million is needed to stabilise the structures and an estimated £700,000 to refurbish the buildings for access and bring them up to a standard so that they can be put back in to use and create an income to help maintain the site; add an appropriate infill to the pool which wouldn't preclude future re-watering, make all areas of the site open to the public and give access to the vast majority of the site for those who are less mobile. This will also open up views to Morecambe Bay from the terraces along the edge perimeter of the site.
This work will dovetail with a scheme funded by £1 million from a £2,351,200 grant the Morecambe Bay Partnership received from the Coastal Communities Fund. The funding will go towards a South Lakeland District Council scheme to improve the promenade at Grange and the connectivity with the lido site. This will deliver improvements including: promenade lighting; a new children’s play area on the prom; upgraded electrical and digital services to the promenade and lido site to enable activities such as outdoor arts performances; resurfacing works; and public realm improvements, including new public artworks.
Grange Lido was constructed in 1932 and remained open for 61 years until its closure in 1993 due to a combination of low usage and increasing operational and repair costs.
SLDC has said it will continue to work with Grange Town Council and other interested parties, including the Save Grange Lido group, to assess the viability of bringing the pool back into use.
The council has made it clear that four conditions need to be met before it seriously considers the re-establishment of a pool, given the risk associated with this. These are:
- capital costs being raised externally to fund any additional works to the site
- a robust and viable business case that addresses short and long-term sustainability concerns
- protection for the council from having to meet ongoing future losses, should they occur
- agreement from Grange Town Council
View from Grange Promenade looking in to the newly-refurbished former lido, looking towards the historic diving platform, with the entrance pavilion on the right