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£75,000 'exceptional case' funding bid to boost Lido

PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 December 2019

Beccles Lido attracting visitors from across the region last Summer. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Beccles Lido attracting visitors from across the region last Summer. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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A community-run pool could receive a welcome New Year's boost in its bid to make vital refurbishments.

Beccles lido was a popular place to be as temperatures soared across Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: Neil DidsburyBeccles lido was a popular place to be as temperatures soared across Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture: Neil Didsbury

A £500,000 project to refurbish, upgrade and re-line the Beccles Lido pool, to allow it to operate for longer opening hours and a longer season, is continuing.

But with a £75,000 shortfall, a bid for funding to re-line the main pool and complete the project is to be discussed next month.

Youngsters at Beccles lido cooling off as the mercury continued to rise in the Waveney valley. Picture: Neil DidsburyYoungsters at Beccles lido cooling off as the mercury continued to rise in the Waveney valley. Picture: Neil Didsbury

East Suffolk council's cabinet will meet at Riverside in Lowestoft on January 7 to discuss a report entitled 'Beccles Lido Ltd improvement bid - exceptional CIL funding request.'

After a record 48,000 visitors made a splash at Beccles Lido, in Puddingmoor, in 2018, 45,000 visitors attended the lido in 2019.

The report to councillors states: "It was considered that the reduction in numbers was in part due to a deterioration in the main pool and its water quality, each of which are big drivers for the new project."

With the lido due to re-open in May next year, a project to carry out "the robust repairs and improvements that are needed" started in October.

The report adds: "The project will also allow the lido to open for longer hours, a longer season and through the winter, allowing it to attract more visitors.

"Beccles Lido Ltd have been successful in raising £423,000 of the funding required by the time the project needed to commence.

"They have applied for £75,000 from District Community Infrastructure Funding (CIL) as they are short of this amount of their target to complete the project and open by May 2020."

With the "urgent nature" of this funding request, a bid has been made to East Suffolk council's cabinet to decide as an "exceptional case," according to the report.

It adds: "Due to the specific circumstances of the Beccles Lido improvement project and the need for urgent funding to be received by the end of March 2020, it is appropriate to give consideration to this individual request outside of the normal process.

"This community led project is an important part of the local infrastructure provision in an area where there will be major planned growth for the future.

"In this instance the bid has been agreed as an exceptional beneficial project due to the project already progressing, the impact of the funding gap, the proportion of total funding and the community and health benefits the facility provides."

In recommending approval, the report concludes: "That this exceptional case for an award of District CIL funding of £75,000 for the improvements to Beccles Lido is approved by cabinet."

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