A PETITION to save a derelict South Lakeland outdoor swimming pool has attracted more than 5,000 signatures in just five days.

The Save Grange Lido campaign group was aiming for 1,000 signatories so that the issue would be debated by South Lakeland District Council's (SLDC) full council.

The 1930s site closed its doors in 1993 and although owners SLDC are planning on investing nearly £2million to save the grade II listed structure, its plans do not include restoring swimming to the site.

But the Save Grange Lido group, which formed in 2011, is desperate to bring the lido back to its former glory and is putting the finishing touches to a business plan to present to the council.

Pam Parker, who launched the petition and is on the Save Grange Lido Committee, said she was 'astonished' when the petition total rose so quickly.

“SLDC rules say that petitions with 1,000 or more signatures must be debated in full council which will give us a fantastic opportunity to hear what the councillors have to say," she said.

The petition states: "We want Grange Lido restoration to include the swimming pool, and South Lakeland District Council to confirm that any option without a swimming pool will be ruled out."

Phil Bradby, chair of Save Grange Lido, said that without a swimming pool, the lido would 'cease' to have any function and would not attract any visitors.

“Grange Lido has the potential to be the jewel in South Lakes’ crown and to attract visitors from far and wide," he said. "We are confident that our business plan can make the lido economically viable and would bring excellent value to local taxpayers and swimmers alike."

Our group's plans would see the complete restoration of the mushroom shaped 50m swimming basin, a 3,000sq ft cafe and restaurant, a 1,800sq ft terrace looking over the lido and out over Morecambe Bay and space for a stand-alone 3,500sq ft spa and wellness facility.

The diving area has been re-imagined as a 708sq ft bar function space with a 1,700sqft roof terrace with panoramic views.

A spokesperson for SLDC said: “Several studies have concluded that retaining Grange Lido for use as a pool is not viable. Public consultations were held in 2013 and 2017 to explore realistic options for its future.

"Local residents, businesses and visitors have had their say on non-pool options which are compatible with the Grade 2 listing of the site.

"As a result of public consultation, SLDC is now moving forward to restore the lido site in a way that is sympathetic to its listed status and to secure its long-term future as a sustainable community asset."