Broomhill bosses still confident Ipswich lido will reopen Published: 4:30 PM June 9, 2021
Ormiston Endeavour’s community champions have linked up with the Broomhill Pool Trust to launch the petition.
The company planning to restore and reopen Broomhill Pool in Ipswich has insisted their ambitious scheme to turn it into a year-round leisure centre is still on course, despite being delayed by the Covid pandemic. Work to clear trees around the site started in early 2020 just weeks before the first lockdown came in. The full restoration had been due to start around Easter last year and there were hopes that the new leisure centre would be open this summer. However, the pandemic forced everything to be put on hold and still nothing further has happened. This has led to fears among some campaigners that the restoration may never happen.
But Fusion Lifestyle, which is leading the National Lottery-backed restoration of the pool, has insisted it still plans to go ahead with the scheme, although its priority at present is getting its existing leisure centres around the country up and running again. Anthony Cawley, director of operations at Fusion, said: “We are still fully committed to the redevelopment of Broomhill Lido. We will be revisiting the development plans again as soon as possible.” The lack of action since the start of lockdown relaxations has prompted the Community Champions from the Ormiston Endeavour Academy to start an online petition calling for work to restart as soon as possible – a move backed by the Broomhill Pool Trust, which has been campaigning for its reopening since it closed in 2002.
The 12 Community Champions, aged between 11 and 15, also wrote an open letter to Fusion Lifestyle, Ipswich council, and the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the town’s two MPs to get their support for the work to be completed. Their letter says: “We want them to know that we appreciate all their efforts to get this project close to fruition prior to the Covid pandemic. We continue to support them and ask that they do all they can to re-activate the restoration of Broomhill Pool as we emerge from this unprecedented challenge. Their petition has so far attracted nearly 500 signatures on change.org in a bid to get the £7m restoration programme started.
The aim is to create an all-year leisure centre on one side of the pool, and introduce some heating to allow the restored outdoor pool to be able to be used for more of the year than had been the case before its closure.
BROOMHILL POOL TIDY UP – An overwhelming task ahead, but after a days hard graft it was great to see the old place showing its potential again – and waiting for better times for its full restoration. Thanks so much to all our team members, an Ipswich Borough Councillor and to Woods Professional Decorators, who gave their time freely to paint over the graffiti.
Weather permitting, the Broomhill Pool Trust will be organising a tidy up at the grade II listed site over the next weekend. A local trade decorator is providing his time freely to help paint over any graffiti. Our thanks to Woods_professionaldecorators@outlook.com
The Trust is also keen to appeal to those that have left graffiti at the site, that our entire efforts to save this wonderful recreational and architectural asset is for the benefit of ALL local people and particularly the youth of Ipswich.
Bosses at Ipswich council were today hopeful that the latest setback to the redevelopment of Broomhill Pool in the town will turn out to be a delay and not a cancellation of the plans.
Work to restore the pool and create a year-round fitness and leisure centre at the site was due to start in the spring – contractors were on site at the start of the year to clear some of the trees that had to go to allow work to start.
But by the time the main work was due to start, the lockdown had been imposed and nothing happened. Now the company that will run the new centre when the work is complete, Fusion Lifestyle, has put a hold on all new work while it concentrates on recovering from the lockdown which saw its existing premises across the country closed for months. Fusion runs sports and leisure centres from Newcastle to Tavistock in Devon.
A statement from the firm said:
“We appreciate just how treasured the Broomhill pool is by the local community and we would love to have some news to share. Unfortunately, the effects of Covid have been far reaching in our industry and, like all other leisure operators, our business has suffered a severe, and ongoing, shock as a result of the Covid crisis.
“Our focus in the immediate future is to restart and recover, and this must be our priority task. We are in continuing discussions with our various partners on the Broomhill Pool project on how and when we can recommence the project. We hope everyone will bear with us whilst we start to recover and work through all the priorities for our business in the months to come.”
The borough continues to talk to Fusion Lifestyle, and a spokesman said the feeling was that this was very much a delay to the project – not a cancellation. He said the council was still prepared to pay for part of the work and the funding was ring-fenced. Much of the cost of the scheme will be funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It issued a statement saying: “In December 2017, we made an offer of a grant to Fusion Lifestyle in order to restore Broomhill Pool and construct new facilities for public use and enjoyment. “We understand that due to challenges that have arisen from the Covid pandemic, the future of the project is under consideration. We are in discussion with Fusion Lifestyle about this.”
As part of our continued cultural presence in the East of England, Purcell are supporting the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts’ (SCVA) exhibition, Art Deco by the Sea.
The exhibition focuses on how after the First World War, during a new age of mass tourism, Art Deco transformed our seaside towns.
This prominent and eye catching style is still woven throughout the towns’ architecture and design today.
In support of the exhibition, our team have designed an ‘Art Deco Along the East Coast’ map. This explores Art Deco buildings across the East of England’s coastline and features some of the most prominent buildings within the region.