Group reveals what Eastville Park lido could look like

December 30 2021
Group reveals what Eastville Park lido could look like

THE group behind plans to build a lido at Eastville Park has released a picture showing how the finished scheme could look.

The Eastville Park Lido Steering Group has confirmed that it will make an expression of interest in setting up and running an outdoor swimming facility and a cafe under the city council's Future Parks scheme.

The council says it is looking for "community-led ideas for enhancing parks and green spaces to help improve health and well-being in Bristol".

Individuals, groups and businesses were invited to submit an expression of interest proposal by December 31.

As well as the steering group, the Friends of Eastville Park are also making an expression of interest, based on the Community Hub and Activities Centre they are creating at the park's Nissen hut.

The lido steering group wants to use the old bowling green on a fenced site opposite the Nissen hut.

Confirming their plans, the steering group issued a statement which said: "Over the last two years we as a group of local residents in BS5 and BS16 have been looking at how to improve facilities in Eastville Park. 

"We use our park often, even three times a day.  We began an open conversation with local residents who wanted to create a community hub for Eastville.

"We were strongly inspired by the old Eastville Park swimming baths and the history of outdoor swimming in the park." 

The group said a survey of park users had "shown strong local support for a Lido with Cafe in Eastville Park".

They said: "This would make the Park safer and more inclusive of all people in the community from whatever walk of life.

"The old swimming baths in Eastville Park were bombed in the war, and never reinstated. With a lack of staff time and money available from the local council, we, as a group of residents, have worked on new plans to deliver an Eastville Park Lido for the local community. 

"Having looked at figures for construction, service connections and proximity to neighbouring houses we believe that the second bowling green site which has been fenced off and is an underused space within the community, would be perfect to include a community café and outdoor swimming facilities.

"Services for the community would be open 6/7 days a week and throughout the year. It would be run by people within the community with the experience and knowledge to do so, with a mix of paid staff and volunteers. 

"The primary purpose of the Lido project is to promote community health, well-being and cohesion for Eastville and the greater North-East region of Bristol. We also aim to find ways to safeguard and enhance the existing open space and sports infrastructure, by developing a high level of resident involvement.

"With Bristol City Council parks department experiencing ongoing cuts we felt that we needed to come together to provide what the community needed."

When plans for the lido were unveiled earlier this year the steering group estimated the overall cost of the scheme, including buildings for changing rooms, a cafe, reception and function room, would be about £1.6 million.  

The group says the project would be a not-for-profit social enterprise, with money "being funnelled back into the park" to support upkeep and activities.

The group said: "The aim would be to make it an affordable entry fee and be managed by the community.

"As residents we would be happy to work with the Friends of Eastville Park group on this and with any other local people who are interested in joining us."