DETAILED plans to rebuild and rejuvenate Grange Lido have been finalised on the eve of a crunch meeting on the future of the project.

Campaign group Save Grange Lido engaged a leading specialist architect to draw up the restoration plan, which they intend to present to South Lakeland District Council at the crucial meeting.

And after the group secured status as a community benefit society this week, SGL director and company secretary David Dawson said they were renewing their efforts to secure council approval for their ambitious plans which they believe will transform Grange’s fortunes as a tourist attraction.

“We started off as a group of concerned residents, enthusiastic about saving and restoring this iconic pool and now, incorporated as SGL, we hope to persuade the council to approve our plans for the pool,” said Mr Dawson.


“We would then be well placed to work with SLDC to help restore the derelict lido as community facility and world-class visitor attraction to make the people of Grange proud.”

Opened in 1932 when such structures were a common feature across the country, Grange Lido consisted of a large salt water pool surrounded by attendant facilities such as changing rooms and a sun deck.

It proved extremely popular with locals and visitors, but after a period of decline and rising maintenance costs, the facility was closed in 1993 and has stood derelict since then.

However, the art deco lido was granted grade II listed status in 2011 and in the same year, the Save Grange Lido group was formed.

Bolstered by a resurgence in the popularity of such facilities, the group has grown in strength and after SLDC floated a plan to restore the lido surroundings but board over the pool area, 18,000 people signed a petition calling on the council to include reopening of the pool in any plans to restore the lido. 

The group recently commissioned London based swimming pool design specialists Studio Octopi to examine the project, and they have now finalised detailed plans for a state of the art complex with a 50 metre six lane pool alongside a heated 25m pool and a paddling and play pool, restaurant, sauna, steam room and shop.

“Grange Lido is one of the most important surviving coastal lidos in the UK and to work on such a socially and architecturally significant structure is an honour,” said Studio Octopi director Chris Romer-Lee.

“With 2019 being the Year of the Lido, there is something special happening across the country in reawakening these forgotten water palaces. 

“The team look forward to continuing to work with the motivated and skilled community group on unlocking the future of Grange Lido.” 

SGL, who plan to operate the lido as a not-for-profit community facility, were recently awarded a matched funding grant of £6,265 by the Architectural Heritage Fund to progress its plans.

But they have conceded that the total cost of the restoration will be around £1.2 million, and therefore it is clear a major fundraising drive would be required to realise their aims.

However, the immediate aim is to secure council approval for their plans.
The group will present their case to the council’s cabinet on Wednesday after which the cabinet will make recommendations to the full council.