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Grange Lido refurbishment plans to be submitted this summer

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, with the new information boards at Grange Lido

A PLANNING application for a scheme to make the derelict Grange Lido site stable, safe and accessible is set to be submitted by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) by the end of the summer.

SLDC’s planning committee will consider planning approval and listed building consent will be required in order to carry out the stabilisation and structural repairs.

Cabinet gave approval in January to pursue a “light-touch” refurbishment including landscaping and other work which would not preclude any future use of the pool. The work will make the derelict lido site stable, safe and accessible, preserving it for the benefit of the community and reopening the site to the public again after more than 25 years.

The plans will also create a new multi-use public space for the local community and visitors, landscaping and public realm improvements.

In February, SLDC’s Full Council approved capital expenditure of £960,000 in 2019/20 and £1m in 2020/21 for the project. An estimated £1.3 million is needed to stabilise the structures and an estimated £700,000 to refurbish the buildings for access and bring them up to a standard so that they might be put back in to use and create in income to help maintain the site; add an appropriate infill to the pool, make all areas of the site open to the public, including the diving platform; give access to the vast majority of the site for those who are less mobile and open up views to Morecambe Bay from the terraces along the edge perimeter of the site.

Information boards have been erected at the site to reflect the work, planning and consultation which has been undertaken so far, the present situation and to reassure the public that the project is progressing.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, SLDC’s Deputy Leader, said: “Intervention is required now to save this important community asset before it is too late.

“This is a significant project with a considerable capital commitment from SLDC but that will be money well spent to safeguard this vital part of our area’s cultural heritage for future generations. The new information boards that are displayed at the Lido site reinforce the message that we are committed to doing all we can to facilitating a vibrant future for the site.”

The district council has said it will continue to work with Grange Town Council, the Grange Lido Community Interest Company and other interested parties including the Save Grange Lido group to secure the future of the lido site in a way that is sympathetic to its listed status.

Grange Lido was constructed in 1932 and remained open for 61 years until its closure in 1993 due to a combination of low usage and increasing operational and repair costs.

The work will dovetail with a scheme funded by £1 million from a £2,351,200 grant the Morecambe Bay Partnership received from the Coastal Communities Fund. The funding will go towards a South Lakeland District Council scheme to improve the promenade at Grange and the connectivity with the lido site. This will be made up of enhancements including improved promenade lighting; a new children’s play area on the prom; upgraded electrical and digital services to the promenade and lido site to enable activities such as outdoor arts performances; resurfacing works; and public realm improvements, including new public artworks.

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