EXCITEMENT surrounds plans to bring a derelict lido back to life after a start date was announced.

Long-anticipated plans to reopen Grange Lido are nearing reality after South Lakeland District Council revealed when work is due to start on transforming the site.

Grange Lido has been mothballed since the final swimmers left in 1993 however campaign group Save Grange Lido have been working hard over a number of years to restore the pool and bring it back into use.

In March, South Lakeland District Council’s cabinet agreed to move forward with work to renovate the main pavilion and diving board structure and fill in a pool and nearby terracing.

The proposal, which now excludes a central water feature, has brought the price down to £5.18 million, which includes £1.1 million for the Promenade from a £2,351,200 grant the Morecambe Bay Partnership received from the Coastal Communities Fund.

And now a spokesman for South Lakeland District Council has revealed that phase one of work is expected to commence in January and last until the end of March 2023.

A spokesman said: “SLDC has approved the contract award to the preferred bidder IBI Group for phase one of the repair and refurbishment of the lido, as well as plans to repair and rejuvenate the adjacent promenade.

“The work at the derelict SLDC-owned lido will preserve it for the benefit of the community and see it reopen to the public again after more than 25 years, creating a new multi-use public space for the local community and visitors.

“SLDC continues to remain open to exploring long-term and sustainable offers for the site.

“Formal contracts are currently being finalised to allow the work to commence, along with arrangements with rail and electricity operators to facilitate the improvements.”

Chair of campaign group Save Grange Lido, Janet Carter, said the team is 'working hard' behind the scenes to plan every detail of the upcoming project.

She said: "We are excited to see work start on restoring this wonderful piece of heritage, an incredible asset.

"The works will repair the main pavilion building, pool surrounds and sea defences.

"We have been working closely with SLDC to take forward our vision for the site.

"Once the phase one work is completed we hope our fundraising efforts will allow us to start work on restoring the pool to create an exciting and inclusive destination for all to enjoy and benefit from.

"We are working hard behind the scenes with leading industry experts to plan every detail of this exciting project and will announce more details soon."

The lido project will include stabilising the structures and refurbishing the buildings for access; adding an appropriate infill to the pool which will not preclude future re-watering, making all areas of the site open to the public and giving access to the vast majority of the site for those who are less mobile.

This will also open up views to Morecambe Bay from the terraces along the edge perimeter of the site.

Improvements to the promenade, subject to planning permission, will include: repairs to unstable sections of the sea defence wall, infrastructure for future promenade lighting; a new children’s play area on the prom; resurfacing works; and public realm improvements, including new public artworks.