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NEWS UK’s Oldest Open-air Public Pools To Reopen

The oldest surviving open-air swimming baths in the UK are set to be fully restored and reopened to the public, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Grade II* listed Cleveland Pools, a 200-year-old Georgian lido in the historic city of Bath, has secured earmarked funding of £4.1m including a development grant of £366,200.

Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who has been a long-time supporter and ambassador for the project, said: “This is such good news. After hard work and sheer perseverance by the Trust and its advisers it’s looking like we will have a magnificent and unique pool in Bath that we can all enjoy for a proper outdoor swim.”

The pools first opened in 1815 following the Bathwick Water Act which prohibited nude bathing in the river. Laid out in the shape of a miniature Georgian crescent, the site includes two bathing pools, the original changing rooms and a private ladies pool.

They are one of only a small number of pre-Victorian sporting buildings to survive nationally and are thought to be the oldest swimming baths of its type in Western Europe.

The site closed to the public in 1978 and after finally closing altogether in 1984 was briefly used as a trout farm. It has since deteriorated but although on English Heritage’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register, the main features remain remarkably intact.

The restoration project, run by community group The Cleveland Pools Trust, will conserve the Georgian features and upgrade the facilities to allow for year-round swimming and other activities. When complete, the site will include a 25-metre swimming pool,

children’s splash area, pavilion and café. The pools will be naturally treated and heated using the latest technology.

Ann Dunlop, Chairman of the Cleveland

Pools Trust, said: “The Trust and its many supporters will be over the moon that our campaign to keep the pools in the public eye, while developing a sustainable plan working with experts from both English Heritage and The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, has finally got the green light from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

The HLF grant will cover 85% of the total costs. Bath & North-East Somerset Council, who own the site, have pledged £200,000 towards the project. The Trust are now looking to secure the remaining money and are hoping that people will be moved to donate to make the project a reality. Expert advice has been provided by English Heritage and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The

Prince’s Regeneration Trust, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with this news. It’s a momentous step forward for Cleveland Pools after years of hard work by everyone involved. “We would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their tremendous support and investment in Cleveland Pools.”

Staycationers Shun Foreign Holidays for Yorkshire

Yorkshire holidaymakers have been giving expensive holidays the elbow and preferring to stay at home, according to research carried out by a leisure centre.

Staff at the Barnsley Metrodome surveyed visitors during the first two weeks of the school summer holidays and discovered a large proportion were enjoying a ‘staycation’. Instead of holidaying in the UK or abroad, families visiting the attraction were choosing to stay at home and enjoy days out to local and regional leisure facilities like the Metrodome.

Almost half of all visitors surveyed had travelled more than 20 miles to visit the attraction. Among the top reasons for

12 October 2014 SPN

visiting was to have fun in Calypso Cove, the Metrodome’s thrilling waterpark. Half of all visitors said the facilities were better than those in their home town and 41% said they’d decided to visit following a recommendation.

An impressive 80% vowed to return and 46% scored their visit to the Metrodome five out five.

Aaron Kirkwood, Marketing Manager for Barnsley Premier Leisure, said: “We knew visitors were travelling from as far as Leeds and Nottingham and so we wanted to find out more. We questioned visitors and discovered some really interesting opinions.” The majority of online ticket sales for

Calypso Cove this summer have been made by people outside of Barnsley. Aaron added: “Several families told us there was nothing like the Metrodome where they lived and others explained how they’d decided to take a staycation and make the most of local attractions.”

The Metrodome celebrates its 25th birthday this year and offers something for all ages, particularly those who like swimming as visitors can enjoy three new water flumes – Eruption, Kraken and Terror Torrent – the latter being one of the UK’s fastest indoor water slides, whilst younger children can explore the Sunken Galleon and Coconut Creek, the toddler pool.

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