Meeting with Tom Hunt MP.
The Broomhill Pool Trust was delighted to meet with Tom Hunt MP (Ipswich) and Cllr Liz Harsant (IBC & SCC) to provide a tour of the pool on Tuesday afternoon (9 August 2022).
The Broomhill Pool Trust appreciates that Ipswich’s Grade II listed lido enjoys cross party support from Ipswich’s two Conservative MPs, Labour administered Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Lib-Dems & Greens.
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt MP and Central Suffolk & North Ipswich MP Daniel Poulter are both backing Broomhill Pool, with a bold bid by Ipswich Borough for additional funds from the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Levelling Up Fund.
The bid is one of two submitted by Ipswich Borough Council, and in the case of Broomhill Pool is to enable the lido’s restoration to be re-started, plus provides extra to restore the Wicksteed diving stage, and fit a retractable boom allowing for a 50m heated competition pool and/or contained diving area. The bid outcome is likely to be known in Autumn.
Bold bid by Town’s MPs and Ipswich Borough Council for additional funding from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt MP and Central Suffolk & North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter are both backing Broomhill Pool, with a bold bid by Ipswich Borough for additional funds from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The bid is one of two submitted by Ipswich Borough Council, and in the case of Broomhill Pool is seeking to bridge a funding gap to enable the lido’s restoration to be started.
To recap, all funding pledges from Ipswich Borough Council (£1.5m), Fusion Lifestyle (£2.1m) and National Lottery Heritage Fund (£3.4m) were in place and works were due to commence April 2020. However, covid and lockdowns hit, causing Fusion Lifestyle to Furlough 3000 staff and mothball all the 140 leisure facilities they operate. Fusion’s income was knocked for six, while construction inflation escalated due to disruption to global supply chains and materials.
In December 2021, Fusion secured a loan (from IBC) for their stake and the project. However, in March 2022, Russia invaded the Ukraine, disrupting global energy supplies and resulting in a massive inflationary spike in energy and materials.
The Broomhill Pool Trust (www.broomhillpooltrust.org) is convinced that all the stakeholders are committed to getting Broomhill Pool done.
Ipswich Borough Council includes the “regeneration of Broomhill operated by Fusion Lifestyle” in their 2020-2030 Sports Facility Strategy and have taken the initiative with this Levelling Up Fund bid to secure the funds needed to bridge the inflation gap. The bid outcome is likely to be known in Autumn.
Photos from Tom Hunt’s Post (Friday 15 July):
BBC Radio Suffolk: latest news on Broomhill Pool (June 2022).
BBC Radio Suffolk: latest news on Broomhill Pool.
Mark Murphy (BBC Radio Suffolk) interview with Mark Ling (Broomhill Pool Trust Chairman). What is the latest update on Broomhill Pool’s restoration? Does Ipswich Borough’s new proposed Ipswich Aquatics Centre (planned for 2027) have any affect on the Broomhill project?
Listen in on the Youtube link below (our thanks to James Sharpe).
Interview took place on BBC RADIO SUFFOLK
– 15 June 2022 (approx. 5:00 mins).
A HAPPY NEW YEAR from ALL AT THE broomhill pool trust.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Our website received over 45,000 views in 2021 (from 4500 visits).
In December 2021, Ipswich Borough Council’s Executive voted through a £1.8m loan to enable Fusion Lifestyle to kick start restoration works (which were halted in April 2020 due to Covid and lock-downs). We anticipate further progress early in 2022.
Broomhill Pool is recognized as one of Britain’s finest lidos. Our campaign to save the pool is in now in its twentieth year. The Trust has campaigned positively and tirelessly throughout because, fully restored, Broomhill Pool will be a supreme asset and a source of great enjoyment and pride for our town.
Photo Credit: Peter Barber Collection 1994.
See more photos and info on Broomhill Pool at our website.
URGENT IBC Press Release – Broomhill Lido
Published 7th December 2021
Next week, Ipswich Borough Council’s Executive will be asked to endorse the principle of the Council loaning £1.8m to Fusion Lifestyle to enable them to deliver the long planned works to Broomhill Lido work. These works are intended to transform the dis-used Grade 2 listed heritage asset back into a much loved swimming and leisure asset for the town.
The proposed £1.8m loan would supplement a £3.5m National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant and an existing grant commitment from Ipswich Borough Council of £1.5m. Fusion Lifestyle are also contributing financially to the project and will manage the site when it is back open (hopefully during 2023).
The loan is being proposed following discussions with Fusion Lifestyle. The impact of Covid-19 on the company’s operations means that, while they remain fully committed to the project, they need to secure additional funding and have concluded that – in the circumstances – the Council is the only realistic option. The terms of the loan from the Council will require the money to be repaid in full with an appropriate rate of interest.
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Deputy Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, says:
“The Broomhill Lido project is really important for our town and has widespread support. I am recommending that the Council offers to extend its support for the project as – without that offer – the project would almost certainly fail. Bringing the listed lido back into use has long been an ambition of the Council and we continue to value our positive relationship on this project with Fusion Lifestyle.”
Anthony Cawley, Chief Executive of Fusion Lifestyle, says:
“We are really pleased that the Council is open to lending us funds to support this project. It has long been one of our ambitions and despite the impacts of Covid we remain committed to it.”
Anne Jenkins, Director (Midlands and the East), National Lottery Heritage Fund, says:
“Thanks to National Lottery players, we were able to invest in this important project to bring the Lido back into use for the benefit of Ipswich and the wider area. We hope the on-going partnership between the Borough Council and Fusion Lifestyle will provide a high quality facility for health and well-being in a historic setting.”
For further information please see the Executive report to be discussed on 15 December 2021 here.
Fusion Lifestyle can be contacted here.
See here for Ipswich Lido information on Ipswich Borough Council website
BBC Radio Suffolk: latest news on Broomhill Pool.
BBC Radio Suffolk: Latest news on Broomhill Pool and what has held up the restoration project. Please listen to link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsifNlJPbSU. Lesley Dolphin’s interview with Mark Ling (Broomhill Pool Trust Chairman) on BBC RADIO SUFFOLK – 30/9/21 (approx 5:00 mins). Apologies for sound quality.
BBC Suffolk Online Reports: ‘Broomhill Pool: Supporters of Ipswich lido restoration project ‘encouraged’
Supporters of a plan to reopen an open air swimming pool say they have been “encouraged” by pledges that the much-delayed project will happen.
A £7.25m renovation of Ipswich’s Broomhill Pool, which shut in 2002, was due to start last year but was paused due to the pandemic.
Fusion Lifestyle has said it remains “fully committed to the redevelopment”.
The National Heritage Lottery Fund and Ipswich Borough Council have told the BBC their funding remains in place.
Broomhill attracted about 2,000 visitors a day when it opened in the late-1930s, but has now sat unused for almost 20 years.
Various reopening dates have been given over the years, but there is still no confirmed date for when work will start.
Anthony Cawley, director of operations at Fusion Lifestyle, said the organisation continued “to be fully committed to the redevelopment of Broomhill Lido and we are currently working with all relevant stakeholders to agree next steps”.
David Ellesmere, Labour leader of Ipswich Borough Council, has reiterated that funding from the council for the project “is secure”.
“Our capital programme contains £1.5m (increased from an original commitment of £1m) towards the Broomhill project,” he said.
“Although the council’s finances, like all councils’, have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19, we have no plans to remove the Broomhill funding and it was reconfirmed as recently as February.”
Funding has also been provided by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, which in 2017 awarded Fusion Lifestyle a grant of nearly £3.5m.
A spokeswoman said: “We continue to be in close contact with the grantee about the project and the grant remains in place subject to the project going ahead.”
Mark Ling, chairman of The Broomhill Pool Trust, said: “This is really encouraging news under the circumstances.
“Fusion, IBC and NLHF all deserve huge credit for not walking away from Broomhill. So we ask the people of Ipswich for their continued patience, support and understanding and back them to get Broomhill done.”
To showcase how vibrant the pool used to be, the trust has published an online archive of photos dating back to 1938. https://broomhillpooltrust.org/gallery-the-past/
Broomhill pool 1939
Heritage Open Days 2021: Take the Broomhill Pool, Ipswich photo tour at https://broomhillpooltrust.org/gallery-the-past/
Photo Credit: Marion Little.
Marion writes that the photo is of her Mum, “Sylvia Richardson at the time of the photo, later Sylvia Brooks. Sylvia was a good swimmer, having learned, aged three when she fell in the mill stream at Holbrook Mill where the family lived in the 1920s.
When she was about 10 she jumped into Ipswich Docks to rescue a young boy who had fallen in. I know she went to Broomhill a lot in the months before the war, and wonder if this photo was taken by her boyfriend (later her husband) as he kept this photo with him during the war. I know they often went to Broomhill together, walking from Spring Road where they lived near each other.
I was born in the 1950s and Mum frequently took me to Broomhill for the day, queuing to get in, using the baskets for our clothes and shoes, walking through the cold shower/foot bath. Then having to go out at lunchtime and queue all over again! Although she was a strong swimmer (I could not keep up) I never knew her to dive from any of the boards, so maybe she didn’t.
We always sat in the same spot on the concrete, to eat our picnic, and bought a cup of tea from the buffet. When she was in her 70’s we used to sit on the seated area, and only stayed for one session, but that was the only concession to her age!”
Sylvia lived to a great age of 97 and died just before Christmas 2020.
Ipswich Star Reports: Fusion “Committed to reopening of Broomhill Lido”.
Ormiston Endeavour Academy, Community Champions’ open letter and online petition sparks positive reply.
For full story see: Bosses insist Ipswich’s Broomhill pool will be restored | Ipswich Star
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.