Grange-over-Sands lido at the centre of heritage battle

Grange-over-Sands lido at the centre of heritage battle

Grange-over-Sands lido at the centre of heritage battle

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

A MULTI-MILLION pound regeneration project for a South Lakes seaside resort is being threatened by a ruling to preserve an historic saltwater pool.

English Heritage’s decision to classify the 1930s lido at Grange-over-Sands as a listed building has been described as ‘bonkers’ by a businessman who has vowed to fight the decision.

Disappointed hotelier Jonathan Denby said there was a danger the 79-year-old outdoor pool would become a carbuncle on the face of Grange.

Pressure to preserve the lido has been mounting following a Berners Vision Partnership (BVP) proposal to turn it into an ornamental garden as part of a multi-million project to regenerate the Berners area of Grange, including a care home, health centre and new housing.

Mr Denby, chairman of South Lakes Hotels and key BVP member, said the Grade ll listing of the lido threatened plans for a new swimming pool and the restoration of the resort’s promenade.

He said the verdict could be challenged and this would be his 'first priority'.

The Art Deco lido – the only one of its kind in the north – was listed after an application by developer Phil Bradby, who wants to see the outdoor pool fully restored.

A Facebook campaign was launched and by yesterday it had 548 supporters. Various petitions have also been signed by people unable to access the internet.

Mr Denby said: "As the lido redevelopment is an integral part of the new pool project, the decision threatens the new pool, as well as the restoration of the promenade.

"The decision has been made in complete ignorance of the cost of restoring the lido. It would take many millions of public money to restore it and it is a pipe-dream."

He said BVP's plans were 'fully funded' and 'ready to go'.

"Restoring the lido, which is more than double the size of an Olympic pool, just isn't viable. It would be inconceivable to pay for it to be heated all year round."

Mr Bradby, who specialises in restoring historic buildings, said: "If it was possible for Penzance, Plymouth and Saltdean to restore and maintain their lidos why should it be just a pipedream for Grange?

"It would cost less to restore the lido than build another swimming pool next to it. South Lakeland District Council should be fighting to restore this important heritage in Grange rather than contriving to fill it in."

Under Mr Denby’s proposals the lido would be made into a 'lovely attractive area' with a garden and cafe.

Hilary Stephenson, SLDC's portfolio holder for communities, insisted the listing had 'not changed' the authority's plans to work with BVP to transform the area.

"Re-development proposals will have to respect the character and qualities which the site has been listed for,” she said. “We will be meeting Grange councillors and BVP and reviewing the situation."

Grange mayor Coun Tom Harvey said: "While at first glance it may seem that this listing will jeopardise the whole plan, careful planning could still ensure a sympathetic redevelopment of this site while maintaining its historic integrity."

Melissa Harrinton, a leading campaigner on Grange lido’s Facebook page, said she swam in the lido as a child and would like her two children to have a similar chance.

"We already have three swimming pools in the area," said Mrs Harrington.

“The lido offers people the chance to be out in the elements and enjoy the views of the bay. It's a crucial part of Grange's heritage and it could be a great tourist attraction."

* Morecambe writer Fabian Wadsworth has been inspired by memories of the lido to create a book of memories and photographs. She is appealing for help from residents to email her with their memeories for the collection. Email Fabian.wadsworth@gmail.com.

Click on the link below for our photo gallery of the lido.

Comments (23)

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12:50pm Thu 1 Sep 11

hemyfan says...

What is it with Grange and swimming? Huge effort went in to raising money for a lovely modern pool which went belly up after a few years. The Penzance lido, jubilee pool, has an uncertain future because it can't depend on continuing support from the local council; what a surprise! Unfortunately, only a small minority go swimming, and an even smaller minority want to swim in the open air. I was on grange prom yesterday and thought how nice it would be if the lido area was redeveloped to provide a prom extension with shelter, seating and gardens to further enjoy the magnificent views and general sociability of the town. It seems that this is what is proposed but might now be threatened by the listing.
We no longer live in the 50s when in winter we woke up with ice inside our windows, the summers were idyllic and the bright new lidos were a contrast to the black polluted buildings around us.
I'm over 60 (just) and want a modern pleasant space that doesn't require stripping off to feel part of it, which adds to the daily quality of life, come rain or shine. I want it to be viable because I don't want another facility to blight the landscape for decades due to misguided financially daft enthusiasms.
What is it with Grange and swimming? Huge effort went in to raising money for a lovely modern pool which went belly up after a few years. The Penzance lido, jubilee pool, has an uncertain future because it can't depend on continuing support from the local council; what a surprise! Unfortunately, only a small minority go swimming, and an even smaller minority want to swim in the open air. I was on grange prom yesterday and thought how nice it would be if the lido area was redeveloped to provide a prom extension with shelter, seating and gardens to further enjoy the magnificent views and general sociability of the town. It seems that this is what is proposed but might now be threatened by the listing. We no longer live in the 50s when in winter we woke up with ice inside our windows, the summers were idyllic and the bright new lidos were a contrast to the black polluted buildings around us. I'm over 60 (just) and want a modern pleasant space that doesn't require stripping off to feel part of it, which adds to the daily quality of life, come rain or shine. I want it to be viable because I don't want another facility to blight the landscape for decades due to misguided financially daft enthusiasms. hemyfan
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Thu 1 Sep 11

TomHarvey says...

Hemyfan hits the nail on the head with one word - viable

Quote
"If it was possible for Penzance, Plymouth and Saltdean to restore and maintain their lidos why should it be just a pipedream for Grange"
Penzance population 22k
Plymouth population, over 250k
Saltdean population 23k
Grange population 4k
The entire South Lakeland population is 104k
(2001 census)
"The Art Deco lido – the only one of its kind in the north – was listed after an application by developer Phil Bradby, who wants to see the outdoor pool fully restored"
Not exactly, his proposals are for a number of holiday apartments on the site, a significantly reduced pool size (to avoid lifeguard obligations) and public access limited to just "a few weeks a year". So essentially a private holiday site. Interestingly Mr Bradby, who runs the Save Grange Lido Facebook page, has deleted and blocked further comments from the page by Councillors to prevent the other side of the story.

In 2008 when the Lido and the whole Berners site were up for tender (advertised and promoted nationally) for development, and the banks were awash with money, not one of the many proposals that came forward suggested the Lido could be restored.

My details are on the SLDC website and I would welcome it if anyone wishes to discuss this further.
Tom Harvey
Grange Councillor
Hemyfan hits the nail on the head with one word - viable Quote "If it was possible for Penzance, Plymouth and Saltdean to restore and maintain their lidos why should it be just a pipedream for Grange" Penzance population 22k Plymouth population, over 250k Saltdean population 23k Grange population 4k The entire South Lakeland population is 104k (2001 census) "The Art Deco lido – the only one of its kind in the north – was listed after an application by developer Phil Bradby, who wants to see the outdoor pool fully restored" Not exactly, his proposals are for a number of holiday apartments on the site, a significantly reduced pool size (to avoid lifeguard obligations) and public access limited to just "a few weeks a year". So essentially a private holiday site. Interestingly Mr Bradby, who runs the Save Grange Lido Facebook page, has deleted and blocked further comments from the page by Councillors to prevent the other side of the story. In 2008 when the Lido and the whole Berners site were up for tender (advertised and promoted nationally) for development, and the banks were awash with money, not one of the many proposals that came forward suggested the Lido could be restored. My details are on the SLDC website and I would welcome it if anyone wishes to discuss this further. Tom Harvey Grange Councillor TomHarvey
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Thu 1 Sep 11

1207 says...

But Grange and its town council does live in the 1950s you enter the time warp as you drive past the Netherwood.
But that apart its good to see Grange baths back on the front of the Gazzete,
SLOW NEWS DAY lets run the one about Grange baths again or better still
"BOOTHS to buy lido site then sell to TESCO exclusive"
But Grange and its town council does live in the 1950s you enter the time warp as you drive past the Netherwood. But that apart its good to see Grange baths back on the front of the Gazzete, SLOW NEWS DAY lets run the one about Grange baths again or better still "BOOTHS to buy lido site then sell to TESCO exclusive" 1207
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Thu 1 Sep 11

TomHarvey says...

Look forwards to seeing '1207' at our next Town Council meeting. 7pm, 12th September, Victoria Hall.
Look forwards to seeing '1207' at our next Town Council meeting. 7pm, 12th September, Victoria Hall. TomHarvey
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Thu 1 Sep 11

TomHarvey says...

Look forwards to seeing '1207' at our next Town Council meeting to see the '1950s council'. 7pm, 12th September, Victoria Hall.
Look forwards to seeing '1207' at our next Town Council meeting to see the '1950s council'. 7pm, 12th September, Victoria Hall. TomHarvey
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Thu 1 Sep 11

TomHarvey says...

Look forwards to seeing '1207' at our next Town Council meeting to see the '1950s council'. 7pm, 12th September, Victoria Hall.
Look forwards to seeing '1207' at our next Town Council meeting to see the '1950s council'. 7pm, 12th September, Victoria Hall. TomHarvey
  • Score: 0

7:59am Fri 2 Sep 11

Stargazeratdawn says...

I would point TomHarvey and others to the results to date of the Gazette online survey, currently standing at 76% in favour of retaining the lido in its present form which, does not mean shops and a cafe may not also be included.. As a Grange resident for many years, it never ceases to amaze me how residents and local people are asked for their feedback, and for some reason, our local council decide to either ignore the facts of that feedback or, imagine it to be the opposite. The Booths question resulted in the same 'mind block'. I often wonder how many of those who sit on our council are in some way, direct or otherwise, involved in local businesses and as such, have a personal interest in either Booths or, in this case the Lido refurbishment proposed projects going ahead. On the other side of the fence we have Jonathon Denby who certainly has demonstrated a 'self promotion' character which now, at least in my mind, leads me always to question his ultimate personal and commericial motives. Sad, as he may legimately want to help Grange, but, all his involvement in reality television programmes lead me back to questioning his motives again. Sorry for going on, but, I feel these points are in some way all interlinked. Grange council and SLDC need to take the views from Grange residents seriously and not bury their heads in the sand.
I would point TomHarvey and others to the results to date of the Gazette online survey, currently standing at 76% in favour of retaining the lido in its present form which, does not mean shops and a cafe may not also be included.. As a Grange resident for many years, it never ceases to amaze me how residents and local people are asked for their feedback, and for some reason, our local council decide to either ignore the facts of that feedback or, imagine it to be the opposite. The Booths question resulted in the same 'mind block'. I often wonder how many of those who sit on our council are in some way, direct or otherwise, involved in local businesses and as such, have a personal interest in either Booths or, in this case the Lido refurbishment proposed projects going ahead. On the other side of the fence we have Jonathon Denby who certainly has demonstrated a 'self promotion' character which now, at least in my mind, leads me always to question his ultimate personal and commericial motives. Sad, as he may legimately want to help Grange, but, all his involvement in reality television programmes lead me back to questioning his motives again. Sorry for going on, but, I feel these points are in some way all interlinked. Grange council and SLDC need to take the views from Grange residents seriously and not bury their heads in the sand. Stargazeratdawn
  • Score: 0

9:41am Fri 2 Sep 11

Poc says...

I completely agree with Tom Harvey. I don't believe that Grange residents will use a lido - they didn't use an indoor heated pool. I wonder just how many people voting for the lido actually live in Grange or are simply remembering a time in the past when they visited the town and enjoyed using it. Times have moved on.

However Mr Denby has had 3 yrs to implement has building pla. He could have kept in touch with local residents through Gtange Now to explain why it has taken so long for his buildig work to start. Perhaps this will spur him on to get on with things.

I hope the council can get English Heritage to see sense.
I completely agree with Tom Harvey. I don't believe that Grange residents will use a lido - they didn't use an indoor heated pool. I wonder just how many people voting for the lido actually live in Grange or are simply remembering a time in the past when they visited the town and enjoyed using it. Times have moved on. However Mr Denby has had 3 yrs to implement has building pla. He could have kept in touch with local residents through Gtange Now to explain why it has taken so long for his buildig work to start. Perhaps this will spur him on to get on with things. I hope the council can get English Heritage to see sense. Poc
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Fri 2 Sep 11

Peter Thornton says...

Stargazer points to the results of the Gazette poll which shows support for retaining the Lido. Unfortunately such polls never look at the implications of such a decision and how it will be funded. What is the question is: Do you agree that the Council should spend x millions restoring the Lido and then put up Council tax by X amount in order to keep it open. That might produce a different result.
As Tom says, if someone had put forward a viable scheme at the time of the Berners competition/consulta
tion then it might have been a winner and the developers certainly knew that this would be an attractive concept. Unfortunately no-one could make it stack up financially.
Stargazer points to the results of the Gazette poll which shows support for retaining the Lido. Unfortunately such polls never look at the implications of such a decision and how it will be funded. What is the question is: Do you agree that the Council should spend x millions restoring the Lido and then put up Council tax by X amount in order to keep it open. That might produce a different result. As Tom says, if someone had put forward a viable scheme at the time of the Berners competition/consulta tion then it might have been a winner and the developers certainly knew that this would be an attractive concept. Unfortunately no-one could make it stack up financially. Peter Thornton
  • Score: 0

10:38am Sat 3 Sep 11

Steve Bott says...

I had many happy times in the open air pool at Grange but now it is just an eyesore. It should be pulled down not preserved as it spoils the whole seafront rusting away as it is. In fact the whole shoreline couold do with a revamp - but make it quicker than the one at Blackpool!
I had many happy times in the open air pool at Grange but now it is just an eyesore. It should be pulled down not preserved as it spoils the whole seafront rusting away as it is. In fact the whole shoreline couold do with a revamp - but make it quicker than the one at Blackpool! Steve Bott
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Sat 3 Sep 11

Robert Leach says...

Sport England considered the possiblilty of reinstating the old lido pool in the '90s and rejected it completely as it would not meet local needs and would be uneconomic to run.

We must therefore vote against this proposal to avoid wasting money.
Sport England considered the possiblilty of reinstating the old lido pool in the '90s and rejected it completely as it would not meet local needs and would be uneconomic to run. We must therefore vote against this proposal to avoid wasting money. Robert Leach
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Sat 3 Sep 11

phil bradby says...

Listing is great news for the Lido since it brings with it the oportunity to apply for heritage funding for the restoration. The Lido is a unique and important historic building in the north of England and has a very good chance of winning funding. I am sure that the restoration can be funded and that the concept I have put forward will generate sufficient income to run the pool with no cost to the Council.

I'd be happy to help Mr Denby and SLDC apply for funding. Its well worth investigating before bringing the buldozers in.

The restored pool would be a fantastic asset to Grange and would be a major attraction. You only need to look at the story of the Midland Hotel in Morecambe, which is of the same era and obtained significant heritage funding, and ask residents of Morecambe how they feel about the loss of their Lido in the 1980s.

Phil Bradby
Listing is great news for the Lido since it brings with it the oportunity to apply for heritage funding for the restoration. The Lido is a unique and important historic building in the north of England and has a very good chance of winning funding. I am sure that the restoration can be funded and that the concept I have put forward will generate sufficient income to run the pool with no cost to the Council. I'd be happy to help Mr Denby and SLDC apply for funding. Its well worth investigating before bringing the buldozers in. The restored pool would be a fantastic asset to Grange and would be a major attraction. You only need to look at the story of the Midland Hotel in Morecambe, which is of the same era and obtained significant heritage funding, and ask residents of Morecambe how they feel about the loss of their Lido in the 1980s. Phil Bradby phil bradby
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Sat 3 Sep 11

Lakeuk says...

Would a lido get used?

How many would need to use it each week for it to be viable?

Would it be used all year round?
Would a lido get used? How many would need to use it each week for it to be viable? Would it be used all year round? Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

10:42pm Sat 3 Sep 11

life cycle too says...

Heating large quantities of water for just a few people to swim in is never going to be economic - and if councils have to spend money on endless consultations without ever grasping the eventual concept that would succeed then they should clearly let somebody else have a go - it's not like they are going to do any worse than those that came before!

Since our climate is a big drawback to an open air pool, I would like to propose the marketing should include the slogan "Come and swim in our pool in December if you think you are hard enough!"

I am sure that there are a number of hardy souls who would take up the challenge!
Heating large quantities of water for just a few people to swim in is never going to be economic - and if councils have to spend money on endless consultations without ever grasping the eventual concept that would succeed then they should clearly let somebody else have a go - it's not like they are going to do any worse than those that came before! Since our climate is a big drawback to an open air pool, I would like to propose the marketing should include the slogan "Come and swim in our pool in December if you think you are hard enough!" I am sure that there are a number of hardy souls who would take up the challenge! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

9:41am Sun 4 Sep 11

Peter Thornton says...

"if councils have to spend money on endless consultations without ever grasping the eventual concept that would succeed then they should clearly let somebody else have a go"
But that's exactly what the Council did! SLDC advertised widely to attract builders and developers to produce a scheme for the Berners area. The BVP scheme was judged the best by the people of Grange. Just after this, the worlds financial structures began to fall apart.
"if councils have to spend money on endless consultations without ever grasping the eventual concept that would succeed then they should clearly let somebody else have a go" But that's exactly what the Council did! SLDC advertised widely to attract builders and developers to produce a scheme for the Berners area. The BVP scheme was judged the best by the people of Grange. Just after this, the worlds financial structures began to fall apart. Peter Thornton
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Sun 4 Sep 11

BentheBorderCollie says...

I remember the pool - mouthfulls of salt water and always bloody freezing.

It was bad enough in its heyday, and the world has moved on. Time to call it a day on this decayed relic.
I remember the pool - mouthfulls of salt water and always bloody freezing. It was bad enough in its heyday, and the world has moved on. Time to call it a day on this decayed relic. BentheBorderCollie
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Sun 4 Sep 11

billiobob says...

I cannot believe how unimaginative some of the comments are. In addition to the swimming pool the building could house other enterprises such as a cafe or gym with these being leased to private enterprise. The water can be heating with Solar heating as can the buildings. A good comparison has already been made with the Midland Hotel just across the bay which appears to have helped Morecambe's regeneration.
I cannot believe how unimaginative some of the comments are. In addition to the swimming pool the building could house other enterprises such as a cafe or gym with these being leased to private enterprise. The water can be heating with Solar heating as can the buildings. A good comparison has already been made with the Midland Hotel just across the bay which appears to have helped Morecambe's regeneration. billiobob
  • Score: 0

8:46am Mon 5 Sep 11

Stargazeratdawn says...

Biiibob is spot on, and I made this point earlier. If we simply roll over and cement over the lido then it won't be long before we see comments here stating that Grange has lost its charm, its uniqueness. Tourists don't visit Grange because of its slot machines and burger bars. They come, I would imagine, because of the town's ambience. Its ability to create family memories. Year by year, that ambience is being eroded. With some imagination and commercial creativity, the lido could become the centre point of Grange's attractiveness once again. I repeat, it doesn't mean that it cannot become a commercial success. Phil Brady seems to have that vision and I suspect there are many like him, and me, who share that also.
Biiibob is spot on, and I made this point earlier. If we simply roll over and cement over the lido then it won't be long before we see comments here stating that Grange has lost its charm, its uniqueness. Tourists don't visit Grange because of its slot machines and burger bars. They come, I would imagine, because of the town's ambience. Its ability to create family memories. Year by year, that ambience is being eroded. With some imagination and commercial creativity, the lido could become the centre point of Grange's attractiveness once again. I repeat, it doesn't mean that it cannot become a commercial success. Phil Brady seems to have that vision and I suspect there are many like him, and me, who share that also. Stargazeratdawn
  • Score: 0

10:35am Tue 6 Sep 11

Poc says...

Phil Bradby has stated that the way to make the lido cost effective is to build 7 holiday apartments in the surrounding buildings and open the lido for a few weeks a year to the public. Do we actually want holiday apartments on the prom? Do Google Phil Bradby and Hebden Bridge to find the quote.
Phil Bradby has stated that the way to make the lido cost effective is to build 7 holiday apartments in the surrounding buildings and open the lido for a few weeks a year to the public. Do we actually want holiday apartments on the prom? Do Google Phil Bradby and Hebden Bridge to find the quote. Poc
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Tue 6 Sep 11

Ambience says...

They should do what Blackpool did over 30 years ago with their art deco outdoor pool. They demolished it and built an indoor water park and leisure complex, with bar and cafe. Blackpool's town motto is 'Progress'. What's Granges town motto?
They should do what Blackpool did over 30 years ago with their art deco outdoor pool. They demolished it and built an indoor water park and leisure complex, with bar and cafe. Blackpool's town motto is 'Progress'. What's Granges town motto? Ambience
  • Score: 0

8:36am Wed 7 Sep 11

Stargazeratdawn says...

Ambience wrote:
They should do what Blackpool did over 30 years ago with their art deco outdoor pool. They demolished it and built an indoor water park and leisure complex, with bar and cafe. Blackpool's town motto is 'Progress'. What's Granges town motto?
And Blackpools potential budget for these type of projects compared to little Grange is???.. And, how many visitors does Blackpool welcome each year compared to Little Grange?.. Not sure the comparison stacks up really?
As regards the apartments (Poc) that would provide some onsite security so, I'm not so adverse to the idea. I live looking over the prom and it can be a fairly scary place when night falls. So, some attractive lighting along the prom and some people living down at the lido would make it more attractive for people to use in the evenings.
[quote][p][bold]Ambience[/bold] wrote: They should do what Blackpool did over 30 years ago with their art deco outdoor pool. They demolished it and built an indoor water park and leisure complex, with bar and cafe. Blackpool's town motto is 'Progress'. What's Granges town motto?[/p][/quote]And Blackpools potential budget for these type of projects compared to little Grange is???.. And, how many visitors does Blackpool welcome each year compared to Little Grange?.. Not sure the comparison stacks up really? As regards the apartments (Poc) that would provide some onsite security so, I'm not so adverse to the idea. I live looking over the prom and it can be a fairly scary place when night falls. So, some attractive lighting along the prom and some people living down at the lido would make it more attractive for people to use in the evenings. Stargazeratdawn
  • Score: 0

11:48am Wed 7 Sep 11

TwoHat says...

I think Grange has to decide what it wants to be. At the moment it has the reputation of being more like "God's waiting room" than a flashy tourist trap.
Do the locals really want another Blackpool or Morecambe? Local business owners and some councillors might, but they are only a small but very vocal and influential proportion of the residents of the area.
I think Grange has to decide what it wants to be. At the moment it has the reputation of being more like "God's waiting room" than a flashy tourist trap. Do the locals really want another Blackpool or Morecambe? Local business owners and some councillors might, but they are only a small but very vocal and influential proportion of the residents of the area. TwoHat
  • Score: 0

11:16am Thu 8 Sep 11

Steve Bott says...

It's ALWAYS been God's waiting room! The only reason I developed an affection for it was because my granny liked going there! No reason for it to descend into a rusting cesspit though like some places not too far away begining with B and ending in POOL!
It's ALWAYS been God's waiting room! The only reason I developed an affection for it was because my granny liked going there! No reason for it to descend into a rusting cesspit though like some places not too far away begining with B and ending in POOL! Steve Bott
  • Score: 0

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