Future secured for UK’s oldest outdoor pool

A view of Cleveland Pools from the 1960s
Cleveland Pools will reopen to the public in 2021 The Wessex Water Historical Archives
Cleveland Pools in the historic city of Bath will reopen to the public after closing more than 30 years ago.

The 200-year-old lido closed to the public in 1984, and is currently on English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk register. Thanks to a grant of £4.7million from the National Lottery, the Cleveland Pools Trust plans to restore the original Georgian features to their former glory.

The pools will be naturally treated and heated using the latest technology, enabling the public to swim in the waters all year round.

[quote=Sharron Davies MBE, Olympic swimmer]"The restored pools will be the new jewel in Bath's crown"[/quote]

Bringing stories to life

Stories from the pools’ history will be brought to life as part of the project. Visitors can learn about eccentric swimming teacher Captain Evans, who lived on the site with his pet baboon. He would entertain visitors by diving into the pool from 100ft in the air wearing a top hat to cushion his entry.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “We are delighted that the National Lottery is able to support this outstanding project which will see this unique Grade II* lido restored and reopened so that the community can enjoy access to its open-air pools in a spectacular heritage setting.

"It seems particularly appropriate as the pool was originally funded in Georgian times by public subscription.”

Olympic support

Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE is a long-time supporter and patron for the project. She said: “I am thrilled that the campaign to restore Cleveland Pools has been awarded support by the Heritage Lottery Fund. I have watched the Trust work tirelessly for a long time in their attempt to save this historic riverside venue, and reviving it for swimming and as an heritage site will bring huge joy to the community and visitors.

"I think the restored pools will be the new jewel in Bath's crown and I hope to be one of the first to swim there when they reopen.”

The pools are set to reopen to the public in 2021.

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