I AM the company secretary of Save Grange Lido Ltd and I’m writing in response to the letter from Mr B Walker (Letters, December 26, 'Who wants an open-air pool?').

Mr Walker is entitled to his views, of course, but there are many thousands who would challenge his assertion there is no demand for outdoor swimming. Just ask the thousands of swimmers who take part in seasonal outdoor swims throughout the country, from those taking part in wild swimming to those enjoying the fun of an outdoor midwinter swim in many of the lidos throughout the country.

Recent years have seen significant growth in the popularity of outdoor swimming, and the demand for the restoration of the pool in Grange-over-Sands can be seen from the fact our petitions calling for the restoration attracted more than 18,000 signatures in 2018, and from the support we receive on our social media channels.

Save Grange Lido is working closely with South Lakeland District Council to ensure we can meet the conditions set for the council’s support for our plans. The conditions include our having a viable and sustainable business case, and we are well on the way to achieving that, with the help of an independent consultant from the leisure industry, jointly appointed by Save Grange Lido and SLDC.

We are confident the business plan will be confirmed as viable, and we can then continue our work towards the full restoration. Our architect has updated our plans to take into account comments we’ve received from industry experts, and the revised scheme will be published shortly.

Furthermore, as you reported a couple of weeks ago, we are in discussions with representatives of Eden Project North with a view to some coordination of the two projects. For our part, we are delighted such a visionary organisation as the Eden Project shares our ambition for a sustainable cross-bay offering.

I’m sure Mr Walker is being deliberately provocative in suggesting the lido in Grange is a “bombsite which should have been levelled years ago”.

It is true Grange Lido has been largely neglected over the years since its closure, but the structures are in remarkably good condition despite the passage of time. SLDC is to be commended for its decision to commit some £2 million to the restoration of the fabric of the buildings, and in giving this organisation the time to fully prepare our plans for the site and to raise the money needed to bring about a full restoration of what is one of only four remaining seaside lidos in the country, and the only surviving lido on the North West coast.

Grange Lido is a significant heritage asset, not only for South Lakeland but also for the North of England as a whole. Full restoration (including the 50-metre pool, which does fit, despite Mr Walker’s contention!) will bring considerable health, wellbeing and economic benefits to the area.

David Dawson

Company secretary, Save Grange Lido Ltd