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About Broomhill Pool

Broomhill Open Air Swimming Pool is located at Sherrington Road, Ipswich IP1 4HT. The lido was designed by County-Borough of Ipswich Engineer and Surveyor, E. McLauchlan. The facility was built during 1937 and early 1938 at a cost of £17,000. It was officially opened by County-Borough of Ipswich Mayor George Underwood on Saturday 30 April 1938.

 

Facilities

  • The competition pool at Broomhill is 55 yards x 20 yards and 8 lanes wide.
  • Its depth ranges from 3’6 at the shallow end, through 5’, 7’6 with a 15ft deep diving pit, making it currently the joint deepest outdoor pool in the country (with Hilsea Lido in Portsmouth).
  • The pool water volume is 464,000 gallons/2.1 million litres.
  • The lido has the last known Wicksteed (of Kettering) diving stage which accommodates 2, 3, 4 and 5 metre diving boards (with separate 1 metre spring board). This is the joint highest outdoor diving stage in the country (with Faversham Pool in Kent)
  • The lido includes a children's pool 12.5 yards x 20 yards); plus grandstand for 700 spectators and changing cubicles for 70 ladies and 108 men.
  • The lido was originally furnished with flood lighting and underwater flood lighting.
  • The water was heated to 70f/21c (before the boilers were requisitioned for WW2 in 1941) and filtered and the 3 hour filtration rate for 2,500,000 litres of water was one of the fastest in the country.
 

Heritage Status

Broomhill Pool is just one of seventeen Grade II listed lidos in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the work of local supporters and the Twentieth Century Society, Broomhill Pool secured Grade II listing in August 2001. The lido is built within Broomhill Park. It is close to Broomhill Library which was built in 1942 as a WW2 bomb-proof decontamination unit. Broomhill Lbrary was also Grade II listed in 2012. English Heritage highlighted the "Group value: the relationship between the former gas decontamination centre and the adjacent Broomhill lido holds important group value; the style of the decontamination centre was designed to mirror the facade of the adjacent Broomhill Lido (listed at Grade II), and both were designed by Borough Engineer E. McLauchlan". The lido is included as a national monument on the Historic England "Pastscape" website. Broomhill Pool is a founding member of Historic Pools of Britain (established in 2015). "Historic Pools of Britain is the first body ever to represent historic swimming pools in this country. These unique indoor and outdoor pools make a significant contribution to the social and architectural history of Britain and play a hugely important role in our communities"

Janet Smith wrote, in her definitive book "Liquid Assets" (A comprehensive history of Lidos and open air swimming pools of Britain. Published 2005): “Broomhill may lack the national profile accorded to Saltdean, Tinside or Penzance, but it is arguably their equal in architectural significance”.

 

Local Offer

Affectionately and simply called "Broomhill" by locals, the pool has been central to summer for many generations. It has a special appeal for children who are able to spend all day in the fresh air in attractive surroundings, in a safe, healthy environment. The Pool building is one of the most attractive Lido style open-air pools in Britain and has an unrivalled position on the edge of Broomhill Park. Broomhill Pool is the only Olympic length open-air pool in Suffolk, Essex & Norfolk. In addition to its appeal to recreational swimmers, many local groups have used Broomhill Pool for a wide range of water sports including Life Saving Training, Canoeing and even Dinghy Sailing. At 15 feet deep the pool offers Sub-Aqua divers the only "deep water pit" in Suffolk.

 

Present Status

In December 2017, Fusion Lifestyle secured Heritage Lottery Funding stage 2 full grant of £3.4m. Fusion will invest over £2m. In August 2018, Ipswich Borough Council increased their commitment to £1.5m to secure the scheme. KLH Architects in Ipswich have been appointed to lead the project team. http://www.klharchitects.co.uk/-170709.php The £7.25m restoration will commence in mid-2019. Broomhill Pool is due to be reopened by mid 2020.

 

About The Broomhill Pool Trust

The Broomhill Pool Trust is a registered charity (No.1102659), established in 2003. The Trust’s objective is to seek and offer solutions to restore Broomhill Pool in Ipswich - one of Britain’s finest listed lidos - for full public use. The Trust's activities are to lobby, explore and liaise with Ipswich Borough Council and all interested parties to preserve Broomhill Pool for future generations. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that this wonderful pool is saved.

 

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