BBC East Reports: Ipswich MP appeals to Commons to save Grade II listed lido

An MP has appealed for help in the Commons to save a Grade II listed lido in his constituency.

Broomhill Lido in Ipswich was built in 1938 and closed in 2002. A £7m renovation was due to start in 2020, but it was paused due to the pandemic.

Inflation led to costs increasing so the Ipswich Borough Council applied for £1.3m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund but was unsuccessful.

The MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt said the lido was a “huge benefit” to the area.

Broomhill was popular on hot days. The site is on the boundary of the town’s two Parliamentary constituencies
The council owns the pool and charity Fusion Lifestyle has a 50-year lease to operate it.

The Broomhill Pool Trust, which has led the campaign to save the lido, said costs had risen by £1.5-£2m and more funding was needed.

The trust and council had hoped the Levelling Up Fund bid would be successful and enable the project to resume, before finding out it was unsuccessful last week.

Speaking during business questions in the Commons, the Conservative MP said he was “prickly” when he discovered the bid had been rejected.

“There was only £1.5m to £2m to do with the Broomhill Lido, but it is an outdoor pool of huge benefits to the local area, a cultural attraction and a sporting attraction,” he told MPs.

He asked the leader of the house, Penny Mordaunt, what other money and avenues might be available “to push this over the edge and bring this wonderful attraction back to Ipswich”.

Ms Mordaunt, a keen swimmer, said the subject was close to her heart as a 1938 lido was being refurbished in her constituency.

The Conservative MP for Portsmouth North said there would be other funds available and she would connect him with similar projects “to make sure he has the best advice to take this forward”

“I know how much this will mean to his constituents, it’s not just a leisure facility is also part of the heritage,” she said.