Ipswich MPs make the case for bridging Broomhill Pool’s funding gap, and invite Levelling Up Minister, Dehenna Davison MP, to visit our historic lido.

Tom Hunt MP (Ipswich MP) tabled an adjournment debate in parliament this evening at 20:15.

Following Levelling Up Bid disappointment Hunt states “that there remains a significant but not unachievable sum to get Broomhill over the line”.

“A shortfall of around £2.5m exists which needs government help and support”.

Hunt states that he believes that “the National Lottery Heritage Fund is “open” to increasing its contribution, and that Suffolk County Council is ready to support”.

The pool” offers benefits to physical and mental health, youth activity and aspiration in Ipswich, as well as preserving a valued heritage site”.

“Ipswich Borough Councill is the eighth least active area in the country. That 30 pools [mainly school pools] have closed in Ipswich in the last 30 years”.

Hunt states that his “constituents have an emotional attachment to Broomhill pool”. He concludes that “support from the government would speak volumes for its belief in our town and its renaissance. It would be a travesty to let it [Broomhill Pool’s restoration] slip through our fingers”.

Dr Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk & North Ipswich MP) reaffirmed his 13 years support for the pool’s revival adding that he “hoped to secure additional [Suffolk] county council funding”.

That the “pool is held in great regard across Suffolk and is a well loved community place”. “The shortfall of around £2.5m can be made up through different sources including a bid to the government’s Community Fund”.

Dan Poulter highlighted the significance of “two members of parliament in Ipswich fighting together for Broomhill Pool”.

Responding for the government, Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison MP accepted an invite from Tom Hunt MP to visit Broomhill Pool “to see the beauty and potential of the lido”.

Adding “that art deco style is her favourite style of architecture”. She reiterated that “sport brings people together and delivers much wider benefits for health”.

Ipswich Star: Parliamentary debate secured for Broomhill Lido on Monday 17 April.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has now secured an adjournment debate for Monday April 17 – a 30 minute discussion at the end of the Parliamentary day in the House of Commons Chamber.

“It will enable myself and other supportive MPs to talk in detail about the project and the potential benefits.

MPs and campaigners have been attempting to secure the necessary additional funding needed for the project, with Mr Hunt and Dr Poulter holding “productive meetings” on the matter.

“There are a few different avenues for funding, and it will likely end up being a combination of different funding streams that secure the project,” said Mr Hunt.

“I’ve been struck when talking to constituents about Broomhill the emotion that often is displayed.

“Many have very fond memories of the Lido when it was open.

“I really hope we can get it over the line. This week has been a good week, but nothing concrete has been delivered yet.”


Tom Hunt MP, Opinion Piece in Ipswich Star 31-3-23 (Broomhill Pool Funding).

“Over the past week I’ve attended several meetings relating to the Broomhill Lido project with my colleague Dr Dan Poulter. We’re exploring different avenues to secure the additional funding we need to get the project over the line. I’m hopeful that there may well be a pathway to us getting the project over the line. But quite a few things need to align for this to be the case.

“Coincidentally, this week I was notified that I’ve secured what they call an “Adjournment debate” on the Broomhill Lido project. This is a special debate that takes place in the House of Commons Chamber which will last for 30 minutes and will give us an opportunity to raise the profile of the issue and make very clear to the Government the various benefits it would bring to the local community.

“Most of the money has already been raised and is still secure. We still have a way to go, but I’m more confident than I was a month or so ago of a successful outcome.

“Huge credit to the Broomhill Pool Trust and others who have kept this campaign going despite all the setbacks, and Dr Dan Poulter who has been working on this longer than me!

“I feel strongly that the physical health, mental health and cultural and social benefits of the Broomhill Lido project are vast.


Ipswich Star reports: Broomhill Lido National Lottery funds remain secure.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has confirmed it remains committed to the project for the town, even after a bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund to get the final chunk of cash needed was unsuccessful.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Daniel Poulter wrote jointly to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, one of the original core backers of the project, to seek reassurances that the £3.4m in core funding is still guaranteed.

Mark Ling, the chairman of the Broomhill Pool Trust, said: “It is a most welcome and emphatic response from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“It strongly reaffirms their intent to keep their funding in place whilst all other funding avenues are explored, and a solution found.

“The fact is that the majority of funding is already in place and this project can be delivered if all parties work together to explore every avenue to bridge the gap.

“As Sir Alf famously said, ‘you’ve won it once, now go out there and win it again.”

Link: https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/23342731.ipswich-broomhill-lido-national-lottery-funds-remain-secure/


The world’s safest library. Happy 75th Birthday to the pool’s sister building, Broomhill Library. Both buildings were designed in complementary modernist style by Ipswich County Borough engineer, Edward McLauchlan. It was originally constructed by the Ministry of War in 1942 as public air raid shelter and gas decontamination centre (and would have been used to treat infectious disease too). It was blast proof and gas proof, constructed of foot thick reinforced concrete with a flat concrete roof. Fortunately never called in to action in WW2, it was converted to a public library which opened its doors on the 31st January 1948. This is surely the safest place to read a book in the world! The Ipswich architectural gem was Grade II listed in 2012.

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.

BROOMHILL POOL NEWS: Tom Hunt MP raises Broomhill Pool plight in parliament.

Tom Hunt MP (Ipswich) raised a question in Parliament today, highlighting the plight of Broomhill Pool, and seeking advice of which funds/pots may be available to help bridge the gap.


Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP (Portsmouth North, Conservative) Leader of the House of Commons also has a Grade II listed (Hilsea) Lido in her constituency. She has promised to help “put him in touch with ministers, explore the Coastal Communities Fund, and share with him with what she has learned along the way”