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Study will determine Grange Lido's future

14 November 2016

A clear direction for the future of the 1930s lido in Grange is being drawn-up to finally resolve the derelict state of the historic site.

We have commissioned studies that will determine a list of options, including supporting business cases and funding arrangements, to ensure a suitable project can go forward.

This follows the findings of a report last September 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 appointed to carry out the studies, with a brief to investigate 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.

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

LSH will be leading a thorough consultation programme with the local community, which will kick-off with discussions and site visits with key stakeholders, including Grange Town Council and Morecambe Bay Partnership, over the coming weeks.

The consultation will include an exhibition for residents and local businesses early in the new year. Details of the exhibition will be publicised in advance and LSH aim to gather input from a wide range of people to ensure their recommendations are aligned with local needs and respond to local suggestions for the site.

Simon Turner, Director of Planning and Consultancy at LSH said: “The council’s earlier consultations showed that 91% of respondents supported the principle of restoration and development of the lido and more than three quarters of those asked considered the lido to be an important part of the town’s heritage.

“This level of enthusiasm for a site is a great basis for a potential regeneration and we are looking forward to working with the community to develop viable and sustainable options for the site, within the confines of what is possible at a listed premises.”

Our portfolio holder for Finance, Councillor Peter Thornton, said: “We have listened to the results of the consultations and have carefully assessed the case for restoring the lido as a pool, but all our studies have shown that this would not be a viable long-term option for Grange, or for the wider residents of South Lakeland.

“What we need to do now is to work out how we can restore this site, in a way that is sympathetic to its listed status but also provides a sustainable community asset. It is important that whatever we do is affordable and doesn’t become a drain on the taxpayers of the district.

“This may be to consolidate the buildings and structure, yet with public open space within it.

“We are willing to listen to all ideas and suggestions from developers and others about how the site can be best used, and we are committed to working collaboratively with local community groups and the town council in determining the right way forward.

“The Coastal Revival Fund money has been secured which has allowed us to bring in LSH to conduct these further studies.

“What we are seeking from this is a list of viable options that will ensure this wonderful site once again becomes something that the community can be proud of.’’