Beccles Lido a step closer to taking over public hall

Beccles Lido's bid to take over the town's Public Hall is set to move a step closer on Monday.

The charity, which rejuvenated the town's open air swimming pool, has been in negotiations with Waveney District Council to take over the hall, and on Monday the council's overview and scrutiny committee is likely to approve the move.

A report to the council committee has recommended the transfer of the hall, in Smallgate, by the end of March, and if followed this will mark a significant step forward for the proposal after months of work by the group.

The report said: 'Beccles Lido Ltd has demonstrated that they have the skills and ability to develop and operate local facilities successfully.'

It went on to praise the group's track record with the swimming pool and said that the recommendation would protect the interests of the council and the local community.

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At the meeting Beccles Lido director Shaun Crowley will outline the group's vision for the Public Hall.

Mr Crowley said: 'We want to continue to run events but expand them by making it cheaper to use.

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'We believe it will be more cost effective and more entrepreneurial. We can attract more people and ultimately make the public hall profitable again.'

He added that he thought the public hall was in a 'better situation' than the outdoor swimming pool was when the group took that over.

Alongside Mr Crowley at the presentation will be new Lido directors John Cushing and Terry Dentith.

Both have been involved with the Lido and Public Hall for many years, but were appointed as additional directors at the Lido's annual general meeting alongside town councillors Sue Bergin and Eric Wareham.

Mr Crowley said: 'That has expanded our board substantially and it was important that we did that as we will clearly have a larger workload, needed experts of the public hall and wanted to give more transparency to what we are doing in Beccles.'

The committee's recommendation will need to be approved in the full council meeting on Wednesday, January 25, before the transfer can take place.

• A cabaret fundraiser is taking place for the group at the Hall on Saturday, January 28.

There will be a variety of comedic and musical talent with poets Luke Wright and John Osborne and comedians Patrick Lappin, Andy Bennett and Tina Marinas among the performers.

Tickets are on sale for the 18+ show from Beccles Travel, in New Market, and on 01502 716870.

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