GROWING SUPPORT FOR SAVE GRANGE LIDO
We, Save Grange Lido, write in response to the article by Councillor Eric Morrell on ‘the future of the lido’ published in the July edition of Grange Now. We were surprised to see Councillor Morrell repeat the by now wholly discredited assertion that the 2016 consultation found there was ‘very little interest’ in a swimming pool. Readers of Grange Now may remember that this consultation specifically excluded a swimming pool from the options on which people were asked to comment. Moreover, those who came to the public meeting on the consultation held at Victoria Hall on 19th January 2017 will remember that when members of the public pointed out that a swimming pool was missing from the options presented to them, they were told that it had already been decided that there would be no swimming facility in the Lido. One of our members was present at that meeting and clearly remembers this being said. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we have heard councillors claim there is ‘very little support’ for a swimming pool as part of the Lido restoration.
What are the facts?
The last consultation exercise to include swimming took place in 2013 when 73% of those questioned supported the idea of a restored swimming pool at the Lido. Interestingly, the same percentage said that swimming was the activity they would be most likely to participate in were it to be available at a restored Lido. The overwhelming majority of Grange residents support a swimming pool as part of a restored lido and want to swim in it themselves. The existence of a significant local demand for swimming was also noted in the separate 2014 SLDC Feasibility Study.We recognise and respect the fact that different people may have different views about the best future for the Lido. However, surely we can all agree to take note of the facts.
Save Grange Lido is a rapidly growing group of local people including professionals in the fields of architecture, law, restoration, marketing and leisure. We have been working hard to develop an exciting, strategic, comprehensive and fully costed business plan that we intend to present to the Council and the local community in the near future. In his article Councillor Morrell says ‘there is no chance that a pool, which occupies the great bulk of the site, could pay its way’. We agree on this point. The business plan developed by Save Grange Lido will not rely on the swimming pool itself to make a profit, but we strongly believe that without a Pool, the Lido would lose its unique appeal.
Having witnessed the recent resurgence and success of dozens of well-run community Lido’s around the country, we are convinced that not only would an outdoor pool be good for our health and happiness and fun for our children, it would also strengthen the seaside feel of Grange. Our dynamic and forward-thinking plans for the Lido include a range of high quality leisure & wellness, food & drink and retail facilities that would complement and financially support the restored swimming pool, together offering a viable and exciting future for the Lido.These plans, combined with our extensive research indicate that it would make a perfect day out for visitors, helping to firmly put the town of Grange back on the map.
To find out more or to join our supporters mailing list please visit our website, www.savegrangelido.co.uk or follow us via our social media platforms.
On behalf of Save Grange Lido Group, Oliver Barrett, Rachel Lord, Steven Trevillion.