An open letter from the Eastville Lido Steering Group

October 29 2021
An open letter from the Eastville Lido Steering Group

IN August the Voice published a statement from the Friends of Eastville Park stating the group's opposition to plans for a lido in the park. Here, the Eastville Park Lido Steering Group responds.

WE firstly want to thank members of Friends of Eastville Park for attending our picnic in the park. It was important to hear their concerns and to start planning how to best mitigate impact to those people who live directly next to the park. We also want to acknowledge the statement of the 12 members of FOEP stating their position to not support the reinstating of outdoor swimming facilities in Eastville Park. 

As a community we want to recognise the amazing work that FOEP do as a group of volunteers for the park. The hard work, passion and dedication put in every day for years to keep the park flourishing and enjoyable for all has not gone unnoticed, and we want to say a huge thank-you for all your brilliant efforts.

We wanted to pay particular thanks to Andrew Gee, Mo Lewis and Paul Lewis for the dedication they have shown to the park.

We as a group of local residents want to be able to support the brilliant work FOEP already do, whilst participating in the long-term preservation of the park and its context with support, expertise and infrastructure. 

The process which we started two years ago has been to complete the survey work for the community's needs, designing the facilities the community wishes to see through a masterplan and to research funding streams to deliver this on the ground.

FOEP could then run the facilities if they felt they had the capacity, hiring out spaces available all year round and fostering their volunteer base, giving the control fully to FOEP to manage and run as they choose. 

To provide more functioning facilities for the park, such as a café every day, all-year around, nature programmes, hireable indoor space for kids parties/exercise classes, outdoor gym equipment, outdoor swimming facilities does, however, involve us acknowledging the need for and acceptance of positive change to keep the park in the control of the community, into the future and next five decades. 

When we look at parks within the city of Bristol and across the country, Eastville Park has the potential to offer people of all ages and backgrounds a more diverse range of facilities than is currently being provided.

With 70 acres of land, there is space to increase biodiversity, whilst also providing functioning community facilities which could be used all year round, through the day and night, to make the park safer and accessible for all.

The Lido project will provide the opportunity to assess the park environment holistically and create a robust framework to improve and preserve its ecological system. 

Providing these community facilities will help to create surplus funds to support the maintenance work of the parks department and FOEP's volunteer base.

We wish to continue working with FOEP to nurture and deliver these much-needed facilities to support the many people of Bristol who cherish this city centre green space, Eastville Park. 

Big hugs from the Lido Steering Group team

Picture: Members of the Eastville Park Lidio Steering group at the site of the proposed new outdoor pool