Volunteers prepare Beccles Lido for summer opening this weekend
Volunteers behind the Beccles Lido will be hoping for sunshine on Saturday when the outdoor swimming pool reopens for the summer.
More than 46,000 people passed through the turnstiles last season making it a record-breaking year, and volunteers have been working hard all winter preparing the pool.
New lifeguards and kitchen staff have been trained in advance and the pool has been emptied, cleaned and refilled ready for the gates to open at 7.30am.
Shaun Crowley, chief executive of Beccles Lido Limited, said: “From the day we closed we have had volunteers digging up about 20m of pipe work searching for leaks. In the last few months we have emptied the pool, pressure washed it, painted around the pool and tidied up the garden area.
“We’ve just got to get the chairs and the sunbeds out and we will be ready to go.”
This year, the pool will be opening half an hour earlier from Monday to Friday at 7am in response to feedback from visitors who did not have enough time to fit in a swim in the mornings before starting work.
Visitors will also be able to hire canoes for the first time this year.
Mr Crowley said: “The next big thing we want to do is to reinstate the 3m diving board. We were hoping to do that this year but it’s going to be a bit harder work and cost more money than we expected. We think we will need about £50,000.”
A cheque for £13,000 from the Boysie’s bucket list fundraiser donated last year will go towards the diving board as well as money from the Lido’s lottery club, but Mr Crowley said they still needed to raise a further £25,000 to cover the cost.
Beccles Lido Limited is a community-run charity which bought the Lido from Waveney District Council and reopened it in 2010. The charity now employs 36 people to run and maintain the pool.
Mr Crowley said: “We are very proud of what we have done at the pool but we are also proud to be a big employer of summer staff and to be able to have lots of young people working for us.”
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