Ipswich Broomhill Pool Project Recap:
In December 2017 the £6.5m proposed scheme to restore and reopen Broomhill Pool secured a £3.4m Heritage Lottery Grant; plus £1m guarantee from Ipswich Borough Council and £2.1m investment by not-for-profit trust operator, Fusion Lifestyle.
The journey for Broomhill’s restoration however took another unexpected twist. After completing two other major national schemes, Fusion were required to update their capital cost plan. This identified that prices had risen by a further 10% (approx. £725,000) or revised total of £7.25m due to unprecedented construction inflation.
To their credit, Ipswich Borough Council stepped in, increasing their £1m guarantee to £1.5m (reflecting monetary inflation since the original pledge was made in 2005). This was voted through at the Executive Meeting 4 Sept 2018.
A £250,000 shortfall still exists, but Fusion is confident that they will be able to find funders to bridge the gap. The figure is equivalent to refurbishment of the Wicksteed diving stage, which must be restored as part of the heritage offer.
No diving provision exists in Suffolk, so we remain hopeful that funders will come forward to invest in a worthy and much needed asset.
Key Developments in The Last 12 Months:
In January 2019, Fusion’s Executive Board formally signed off their £2.1m funds, with the HLF Board formally approving their £3.4m grant and draw down arrangements.
In May 2019, a 50 years lease and funding draw down was agreed and signed by IBC and Fusion.
The project team (headed by Ipswich based KLH Architects) has moved on to the Stage 4 design (detailed drawings) and getting bids in for the construction.
All being well and depending what bids come in (and how much), contractors could be in place by end quarter one 2020 with a Spring 2021 re-opening of the pool (although the fitness suite may be operational and accessible at an earlier date).
The restoration is set to restore the Pool to its original 1938 state, with the former male changing rooms on the east side replaced and enhanced by a two-storey new build fitness suite – open all year round for viability’s sake.
The iconic Art Deco clock tower, the buffet, the underwater and some overhead lighting will be restored together with the listed and unique diving boards (though only the lower boards will be able to be used for safety reasons).
The water will be have the chill taken off; initially it will open for the spring-summer period, although this may be extended in the future.
Janet Smith wrote, in her definitive book “Liquid Assets” “Broomhill may lack the national profile accorded to Saltdean, Tinside or Penzance, but it is arguably their equal in architectural significance”.
One of Britain’s finest and most celebrated lidos is right here in Ipswich. The Broomhill Pool Trust has campaigned since 2002 to ensure that this wonderful pool is saved and restored for future generations.
Chairman, The Broomhill Pool Trust
• Rare footage of Broomhill from 1947 shows a diving display with British Woman’s Champion Betty Slade, and a family day out at Broomhill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OvlKgrlwtA
• Fusion Lifestyle official site for Broomhill Pool: https://broomhillpool.co.uk/
• Broomhill Pool Trust website: http://www.savebroomhillpool.org/
• Broomhill Pool Trust Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BroomhillPoolTrust/