April Pool & Lido Public Meeting Briefing


Members of the core group with current affiliations.

Becky Malby (founder) Joanne Bown & John Pegington (Ilkley Swimming Club), Debbie Rosen, Annette Bearpark & Davy Simpson (Friends of Ilkley Lido), Paul Stephens (Ilkley Harriers), Roger Tilbrook (Manor House), Di Lury (Ilkley Clean River Group) Karl Akeroyd (Leeds Bradford Triathlon) Cath Brownlee, Jacki Barson, Joanne Coles, Debbie Jukes, Juliet O’Callaghan, Adrian Clarke, Chris Cody.

Purpose of the meeting 5th April

  1. Inform Ilkley Community and stakeholders about the current review and possible outcomes for Ilkley Pool and Lido
  2. Remind and embed  the principles for how we are going to do this together (inclusive, not for profit, collaboration – not them and us, visionary and future proofing)
  3. Work up some key options for action to improve footfall and income
  4. Generate interest in being active participants in the future
  5. Inform the Bradford Council Review of Leisure Services and make a proposal from Ilkley Community.


  1. Welcome & conduct: How we are conducting the meeting (ground rules)
  2. What we know. An update – finance, partnership
  3. Who we are (a brief reminder).
  4. Inspiration from other Lidos and key stakeholders.
  5. Key ideas identified at the last meeting that we are going to work up together – Cafe, Events, Partnership with sports clubs, External grounds etc.
  6. What Next? What we can offer, how we stay in touch, what we need to do now.


Since we last met Bradford Council published the deficit across all pools in Bradford.

This is the comparator from the exec papers showing Ilkley at 280K deficit.Since we last met BC has increased prices at the Pool and Lido by 15% – the impact on income is not yet clear. Ilkley has been at the low end of charges compared to other pools.

The Ilkley Pool and Lido Community Ownership Group has been:

  • Exploring how pools and lidos across the country are operating, and the steps they took to secure their pool and lidos future
  • Reviewing the current finances of the Pool and Lido to understand where best to focus our community effort and to make decisions about ownership models

We are currently working on the following:

  1. A full understanding of the costs, risks and management challenges with providing the Indoor Pool and Lido now and in the future. We are now in an open and transparent process with Bradford Council
  2. The risks and opportunities of the range of options for ownership and oversight, by connecting with other Pools and Lidos in the UK
  3. The willingness of people to be involved, both individually in the community and as partner organisations.
  4. The potential funding streams and collaborations to make the future viable for the Pool and Lido whatever the ownership model.

We are developing a partnership approach with Bradford Council, and exploring the organisational models that will best meet our aims as a community.

Bradford Council will be working on the options in terms of securing immediate cost benefits, and the ownership and partnership approach with their proposals to be submitted in June. We will be putting together our proposition over the next 2 months.

Securing the immediate future of the Pool and Lido

Currently we are exploring the following issues in terms of increasing income and reducing costs in the context of a sustainable future for the Pool and Lido, many of which came from your suggestions and ideas in the first Public Meeting, and have been confirmed by our research into other successful community owned or supported pools and lidos.

Cost savings currently in review:

  1. Energy (solar panels, lower temp of pool, securing a pool cover for the indoor pool)


Income generation currently in review and for discussion at the public meeting:

  1. Cafe – maximising the potential
  2. More classes – zumba, circuits
  3. Collaboration with sports hub – tennis club – courts, Rugby club- grounds space, Harriers and Tri to increase activity and income.
  4. Lido Events
  5. Charity Shop and Sales
  6. Indoor Pool utilisation  – making the most of lanes, opening hours, types of swim sessions
  7. Lido utilisation – making the most of the potential to increase usage (including online bookings/ opening hours/ cold water activities/ winter season)
  8. Volunteers – what we could do?
  9. Better use of grounds surrounding the pool and lido (Tennis courts, grass areas)
  10. Being a hub for community arts groups who do not have a natural home (rehearsal space, choirs) and a place for performance (the Lido has previously hosted theatre, poetry, music events but this has been ad hoc)

Our Proposal

Our proposal is a proactive move by the community of Ilkley to develop a sustainable future for the Pool and Lido.

The aim is to have a viable proposition to present to Bradford Council as a response to its review by June 2024. The proposal is of course dependent on a full understanding of the financial feasibility, and of the potential capital and revenue funding sources.

Currently all viable options are still open:

  1. Bradford Council continues to run the whole facility with fundraising by the community (our least favoured option)
  2. The Community forms a community ownership organisation with a charitable arm. This organisation could run some aspects of the Pool and Lido functions/ activities, generate income for the benefit of the pool and lido and operate in a partnership model with joint governance with BC.
  3. Full community ownership of the whole facility – with delivery of aspects (eg provision of the indoor pool services) subcontracted

We are now actively engaged in stage one of  three possible stages with a real vision for a thriving community asset:

  1. Stage 1: Supporting the immediate running of the Pool and Lido in a way that generates a sustainable community asset, making the most of what is there now. A partnership model with shared governance to secure immediate income.
  2. Stage 2: Short to Medium term establishing partnerships and collaborating to secure a vision for a thriving centre for sport and the community  at the Pool and Lido. This may include community ownership of the Pool and Lido.
  3. Stage 3: Long term securing a better future for the indoor pool as a modern facility and the Lido as a heritage site within a sports hub area for Ilkley that creates the most potential from all our sports within the town.

Joining In

We are looking for people to contribute and collaborate as follows:

  1. To be members – to buy shares and to be active participants in the future if we do end up owning the facility or part of it.
  2. To be partners and sponsors – providing vision, funding and sustainability as the proposals develop, and in delivering the future model

If you are willing to be involved please email IlkleyLidoCBS@gmail.com


This proposal has been initiated by a number of individuals in Ilkley who have stepped into the problem. These individuals are the instigators of this proposition, but have no individual ambitions to lead the community owned organisation. There may be others better equipped who step forward.