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Ipswich: Three companies interested in re-opening Broomhill Pool - Evening star, Thursday, February 3, 2011 . 11:12 AM

Evening star, Thursday, February 3, 2011 . 11:12 AM

IT is a jewel in Ipswich’s crown – and today the future of Broomhill pool is looking “very bright”.

Three companies have expressed an interest in re-opening the Grade II-listed lido and restoring it to its former glory.

Ipswich Borough Council has pledged £1million to any company wishing to bring the pool back to life and last year started its search for a suitable partner.

Councillor Andrew Cann said he is “very excited and hopeful” one of the three companies will finally be able to re-open the pool, which closed in 2003.

Mr Cann, portfolio holder for culture, said: “The interest we have had is stronger than we have seen in the past.

“We had two bidders previously, now we have three. It is very exciting. All three wish to see the pool re-opened.

“This is step two of three.

“The first step was the council pledging the £1m, the second was getting the bids in and now certainly with three bids we are very likely to find one we can work with.

“From a position a year ago when commentators and most people thought there was no hope, things are looking very, very positive for Broomhill pool.”

He said the council was now looking for more detailed proposals, including funding and sustainability, by the end of March.

Mr Cann said he expects a decision to be made by June.

The Broomhill Pool Trust, which is dedicated to saving the pool, today welcomed the news but said there was still a long way to go.

Mark Ling, Broomhill Pool Trust chairman, said he was keen to see the pool retained as a leisure facility rather money being spent to demolish the historic structure.

He said: “We hope that Ipswich Borough Council will be true to its word, that the £1m capital commitment is budgeted and will be invested wisely, allowing all parties to expediently reach an agreement.

“It’s a bit like being in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

“There is an excellent chance for success, but still a long way to go.”
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