Grange Lido to reopen but not as swimming pool

Artist's impression of how the refurbished Grange Lido will look Image copyright South Lakeland District Council
Image caption The council said the revamped site would be "safe and accessible"

A derelict Grade II listed coastal lido is to be refurbished and reopened to the public, but not as a swimming pool.

Plans for Grange Lido in Cumbria to be turned into a "multi-use public space" have been agreed by South Lakeland District Council.

The authority said it could be used for swimming in the future if a business case was made for a pool that could run without an ongoing public subsidy.

The Save Grange Lido campaign group said it would continue its efforts.

A meeting of the council's cabinet was told the condition of the lido in Grange-over-Sands was "critical" and it approved plans for a "light touch" refurbishment of structures before they fall down.

Deputy council leader Jonathan Brook said: "Soon the buildings and some of the structures will be beyond economical repair.

"Refurbishment will be an important step forward which will hopefully lead to a solution which will be viable, sustainable and acceptable to the residents of Grange and the wider district of South Lakeland."

The planned measures include landscaping, while the pool may be given a removable infilling so as not to prevent any future use as a swimming facility.

Image copyright South Lakeland District Council
Image caption Campaigners say northern Cumbria has four open-air swimming pools which would provide a blueprint for success at Grange

The cabinet's decision needs the approval for £2m funding at a meeting of the full council next month.

More than 14,500 people have signed a petition calling for the lido's restoration, with campaigners confident it could become a tourist attraction.

Addressing the cabinet meeting, Save Grange Lido secretary David Dawson described the plan to fill in the pool as "unwise".

He said: "Such a plan will be disastrous, and once filled in, no matter how many times it is said to be only temporary, we all know that the pool will be gone forever."

The lido was constructed in 1932 but closed in 1993 with the council pointing to low use and increasing operational and repair costs.

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