Pools Trust is​ back in the swim.

Pools Trust is​ back in the swim.

It wasn’t the best of presents to receive just before Christmas. Cleveland Pools Trust and their many supporters ended 2017 on a real downer after hearing that their application for Heritage Lottery funding to restore these unique pools had been rejected.

However, the HLF held out a glimmer of hope when – at a meeting with the Trust in January this year – officials confirmed that they considered the approved plans set out a really strong foundation for the future of the pools – but there were outstanding issues that needed managing first.


Cleveland Pools © Cleveland Pools Trust

Buoyed on by this the Trust has just submitted another application to the HLF.

A spokesperson told Bath Newseum:

“Since the New Year, the trustees have been working hard to address these issues. Councillors and senior officers of Bath and North East Somerset have committed support and work by Curo to repair the retaining wall on the site is about to start.
On Thursday 15 March the Trust submitted another application to the HLF. This application is the first round and will enable the Trust to prepare and submit a second-round application which, if successful, will release funds to carry out the restoration of the pools.

If successful with the new submission the programme is as follows:
Achieve HLF approval; December 2018
Confirm project funding; spring 2019
Issue tender documents; autumn 2019
Commence works on site; spring 2020
Open the Pools to the public; summer 2021.
The trustees are extremely grateful for the enthusiasm expressed by supporters and will continue to work with them to achieve a very special facility for local people and visitors. A liaison group of key stakeholders including close neighbours will be established under an independent chair, to work with the Trust and contractors to ensure that the construction period goes as smoothly as possible.
Chair of the Trust, Paul Simons, said: “The Cleveland Pools Trust has been delighted with the re-affirmation of support for the project from its many hundreds of enthusiasts: local residents and volunteers, swimmers, families and schools, heritage campaigners, and those who have pledged to support the project financially. We are determined to work with them to achieve a truly remarkable and unique facility”.
For your further information:

The Cleveland Pools Trust has been running a campaign to save the 200-year-old riverside pools on the eastern edge of Bath in Somerset for 13 years.
The Cleveland Pools are the oldest surviving open-air public swimming pools in the UK. Their rich social history dates back to the Regency period during King George III’s reign. ‘The Cleveland Pleasure Baths’ – as they were known for many years – were opened originally in 1817 to gentlemen bathers only, funded with private subscriptions from ‘the great and the good’ of Bath.
The Cleveland Pools site is listed Grade 2-star by Historic England and is one of only two buildings situated in the World Heritage Site of the City of Bath that appear on the national ‘Buildings at Risk’ register.
Plans are to include a 25-metre pool and a smaller children’s pool which would both be heated during the summer months. A Kiosk cafe and terrace are also proposed, along with full access for those with impaired mobility. On-site works would have been due to commence in November 2018 for an Easter 2020 completion.
The scheme has received overwhelming public support which demonstrates the huge demand for outdoor swimming to be restored to the citizens of Bath and North East Somerset.
The scheme for restoration has been granted full planning permission and listed building consent by Bath & North East Somerset Council. The council is also the owner of the site.
Look up their website – www.clevelandpools.org.uk. 



What Cleveland Pools Trust want for Christmas.

What Cleveland Pools Trust want for Christmas.

Don’t know what you’re hoping Santa brings you for Christmas but l do know supporters of the Cleveland Pools Trust are hoping it might be a big fat cheque from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Actually, we’ll have to wait to the New Year to find out whether they have been successful in their Stage 2 bid to secure their final £4.1m grant request to help restore this historic open-air lido.

The Trust has released a picture showing a recent visit from representatives of the HLF who spent the day going through plans on site and scrutinising the venture’s business case.

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HLF visitors at the Cleveland Pools with some of the Trust’s supporting team.

In a Christmas message to supporters the Trust said: ” We felt it went well, although we still have to find £141,000 from a revised fundraising target of £869,000. We do have some promising pledges to help bring it down, and the result of the bid in the New Year could make all the difference.”

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The charity chalet is next to the taxi rank in Orange Grove.

In the meantime, the Trust has been given the charity chalet at the Bath Christmas Market on this coming Sunday, November 26th from 10 am to 6pm to sell a range of merchandise including the brand new Christmas card “Snowman at the Pools’ which has been designed by graphic artist, Catherine Phelps.

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The new ‘Snowman at the Pools’ card.

Bath’s heritage blooms amongst the flowers.

Bath’s heritage blooms amongst the flowers.

Many of  Bath’s museums and heritage interests took part in an open air celebration of World Heritage Day in the city’s Parade Gardens – alongside the River Avon and just below Pulteney Weir.


Looking down on part of the Heritage Day display in Parade Gardens.

It was a fitting location. as this year’s celebratory theme was ‘Waters of Bath’ and activities focused on the past, present and future use and significance of Bath’s hot springs, river and canal network.


This year’s celebrations included a marquee for special talks on local history and heritage subjects.

This year has special importance for Bath as the city celebrates 30 years of being a World Heritage Site.


Stuart Burroughs – who is Director of The Museum of Bath at Work – giving a talk about Bath’s bridges in the heritage site marquee. One of many lectures about local heritage and history.


The Cleveland Pools Trust display.

For the first time, there was a programme of short talks in a specially erected marquee. Local experts explored different aspects of the water theme, including the medicinal use of spa water, the importance of the waterways in the Georgian development of the city, Bath’s cold water springs and minor spas, the use of thermal water to heat the Abbey, and the history of Bath’s river crossings.

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Robert Delius – Author of ‘Waters of Bath’.

Amongst exhibitors was Robert Delius – a local architect with Stride Treglown – who is campaigning for more street-based water features to celebrate the city’s debt to its springs and river.

He had put together a 42 page report – entitled ‘The Waters of Bath” – to circulate amongst interested parties and , in catching up with him today (Sunday, April 23rd) it seems there have been some encouraging developments.

There was also plenty to keep younger visitors busy in the Parade Gardens – including a cardboard model of the Pulteney Bridge for them to complete by adding windows.


Some of the youngsters helping to put windows onto the cardboard model of Pulteney Bridge – part of the display by Bath Preservation Trust.

Plus guided tours offered by the Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides, a walk to the Cleveland Pools and even a two hour National Trust trek to the Bath Skyline.


The Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides display and meeting point.

Even more exhibits underneath part of the Colonnades – a derelict area which may come back to life. That’s if plans to attract restaurants and extend the Victoria Gallery come to fruition.


Bath’s Record Office display in the Colonnades.

The city’s Record Office – currently closed (until June 5th} for redecoration and incorporation of the Local Studies Reference Collection from Bath Central Library – chose various stories from the archive collection to do with the river and local springs for their display.


Colin Johnston – Principal Archivist at the City’s Record Office.

Colin Johnston – who is is the Principal Archivist – told me they had deliberately chosen their niche in the Colonnades because it features in two old photographs in their collection.

Photographs showing it as a special water-based destination – as Colin explained.

Cleveland Pools restoration wins approval.

Cleveland Pools restoration wins approval.

The Cleveland Pools Trust have just secured planning approval and listed buildings consent to restore the 200 year-old Georgian pools in Bathwick which have been closed for swimming since 1984. 

The vote was 6-2 in favour and came with a recommendation for the Cleveland Pools trustees to meet with the neighbours, who have objected to certain elements of the plans, and work with them to allay their concerns. 


Cleveland Pools Trust chairman Ann Dunlop who is delighted with the outcome after 13 years of campaigning

After nearly thirteen years of campaigning by the Cleveland Pools Trust chairman Ann Dunlop, it was a satisfying moment for her in particular when Cllr Rob Appleyard (Lambridge Ward) put forward his recommendation to approve the plans, seconded by Cllr Caroline Roberts.


“Councillor Rob Appleyard (centre left of the screen) speaks in favour of the application”

Ann attended the meeting with her husband David, and two of her seven trustees – Ina Harris and Sally Helvey.

Dennis Toogood

Dennis Toogood – President of the Bath Dolphin Swimming Club and former President of the Amateur Swimming Association.

 Dennis Toogood, also came along to speak in support of the Cleveland Pools Trust’s application along with David Barnes, one of the architects in the design team, from Donald Insall Associates, and the Trust’s Project Director Christopher Heath who has worked so incredibly hard over the past few months to bring everything together to enable the Trust get to this point.


Mr Toogood mentioned in his short speech the recent Swimathon carried out by the Bath Dolphin Swimming Club and seven swim schools in the B&NES area which raised over £12,000 for the Trust –  proof that the swimming community of Bath is truly behind the Cleveland Pools.  This appeared to impress many of the committee, and certainly those who are not already familiar with this riverside heritage site which had been defunct for so long.


Parents urging their youngsters on at the swimathon.

Although the planning approval is a major milestone for the Cleveland Pools Trust, there is still much work to be done before the Heritage Lottery Fund release the allocated Stage II funding for the site, to ensure restoration work gets underway early next year, and they still have £155,000 of their £600,000 matchfunding target to raise. 


“Architect David Barnes (right), Project Director Christopher Heath (centre) and Bath Dolphin President Dennis Toogood, take their seats again after delivering their speeches to the council’s planning committee”

Chairman Ann Dunlop says:  “We can’t relax quite yet but I remain positive and reassured that there are so many good people behind us willing to stick with the programme and help us deliver this project for Bath’s community – hopefully within the next two years.  I am enormously grateful to the trustees, design team, project director, advisors, and all our loyal supporters, and would like to say a big thank you to them all for helping us get to this point”.

cleveland pools

At the Cleveland Pools in August 2014, awaiting the outcome of the HLF bid. L to R Adviser Mary Sabina Stacey, Trustees Paul Simon, Ina Harris, Ainslie Ensom, Sally Helvey and Chair, Ann Dunlop.

If you would like to learn more about the Cleveland Pools, and meet some of the people behind this remarkable heritage project, they will be in Parade Gardens for World Heritage Day on Sunday 23rd April (11am til 3pm).

 There will be an historic display, fun and games for children, and a free tour to the Pools for those of you who haven’t yet seen this unique outdoor venue built during the Jane Austen era.

Show your support for the Georgian lido.

Show your support for the Georgian lido.

A end of year plea now for Bathonians to get behind a local project that will revive an important part of the city’s history and a once much-loved public facility.

cleveland pools

Cleveland Pools

The Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath has now applied for planning permission to finally restore its 200yr-old heritage swimming pool in Bathwick. 


A spokesperson told me that it is vital that both the local council (B&NES) – and the Heritage Lottery Fund – see evidence of support, so the Trust is appealing to people to please get behind them today (or ideally before Christmas) using the whole of this link to log on direct:


Bath Newseum was told:

‘It takes one minute to fill the form and will make a HUGE difference. (Addresses only asked for to distinguish individuality).

Progress will be posted via the Trust’s Winter Newsletter on the website in the New Year.   www.clevelandpools.org.uk


Thank you very much in anticipation.’  

Market ‘plunge’ for Pools charity.

Market ‘plunge’ for Pools charity.

The Cleveland Pools Trust will be in the charity chalet in Orange Grove at the Bath Christmas Market, from 10am until 8.30pm, on Thursday 8th December.


The black arrow on the map points to the position of the Charity Chalet in Orange Grove.

Items for sale include signed autobiographies by the Trust’s latest swimming patron Stephanie Millward who won two golds, one silver and two bronzes at the Paralympics in Rio.

Stephanie has Multiple Sclerosis but was full of beans when she visited site recently and is very excited about joining the project, with full endorsement from the Trust’s other local swimming ambassador Sharron Davies.


Cleveland Pools Trust volunteers in the charity chalet in 2015.

Do go along and say hello and make the most of the deals on offer, particularly the very gorgeous ‘Diving Lady’ poster:  a FREE pen or bag if you buy one !  The Christmas cards and puds are selling fast through trustee Sally Helvey already so please spread the word, especially amongst any former swimmers you know who will otherwise miss out.


Some of the items the Cleveland Pools Trust will be selling.

For your information:  The Cleveland Pools in Bathwick are the most extraordinary open-air public swimming venue in the country, and also the oldest.  Closed for swimming in 1984, a Trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year-old site with its crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles.

In 2014, the Cleveland Pools Trust finally won a grant of £4.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, set aside for them as they adhere to a strict programme of works.  In order to secure the Stage II capital grant of £3.7million, and kick-start the restoration process, they need to raise a further £191,000 – either in cash or pledges – by March 2017.

If you can’t attend the market but would like to donate, or find out more about the progress of the project, please go online here:  www.clevelandpools.org.uk

Anonymous donor boosts Pools fund.

Anonymous donor boosts Pools fund.

Everyone involved with the Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath has been given a huge boost when an anonymous donor recently contacted the charity and made a commitment of £100,000 towards the appeal.

This is a big step towards the Trust’s goal of raising £600,000 in matched funding before January next year. An appeals board has been set up to help reach the target, which will trigger the release of the second phase of £3.7m from HLF Stage 2. This means for every £1 donated by the public the HLF match it with more than £6.IMG_6447

The family, who wish to remain anonymous , said “We are very excited about helping the Trust make this historic facility available to the public again.  This project combines so many things that our family enjoys — outdoor swimming, social history, architectural heritage, and the City of Bath.”

Ann Dunlop, Chair of Cleveland Pools Trust said “This came from completely out of the blue. We are absolutely thrilled by this contribution from a local family and we will do all that we can to ensure Bath residents and visitors can once again enjoy outdoor swimming in a glorious heritage setting.”

Plans for the future design and function of the Georgian open air pools were recently on public view in Bath City centre, when the public was encouraged to give their input.

About the Cleveland Pools

The 200 year-old site, which is near the centre of Bath by the River Avon, is soon to become one of Britain’s most extraordinary outdoor swimming locations once again.  Closed for swimming in 1984, a Trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the Pools.  In 2015 they won a development grant of £377,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to develop their current scheme.  Subject to a successful Stage 2 £3.7million application construction will commence in 2017 with an opening in 2018.  

The money will be used to restore the crumbling pool to its former glory, transforming it into a stunningly beautiful heritage swimming space that will be heated over the summer and open all-year-round for the use of locals and visitors alike.  The Pools will be available as a hire venue for small weddings, art and drama workshops, school visits, water safety training and children’s parties.

A splash pool will be installed for younger children, and refreshments sold to visitors whether swimming or just wishing to sit and enjoy the sublime surroundings of this little heritage spot few people even knew existed. 

For further information contact valentine.morby@clevelandpools.com