Next step for bid to restore Otley Lido

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A Chilly river dip helped to launch a funding campaign towards restoring a former outdoor swimming pool.

A large group of the Friends of Otley Lido (FoOLs) joined record crowds at the Joe Town Memorial Swim in Wharfemeadows Park on New Year’s Day to herald the start of a bid to raise £55,000.

Leonie Sharp, chair of FoOLs, said: “It was amazing to see so many people down at the Joe Town Memorial swim on Sunday. It was the biggest I have ever seen it with swimmers and spectators alike.

“We can’t gain sole credit for the record crowds but have had growing numbers of followers on our community engagement and media and social media. All this support and awareness assures us our community fully backs our plans. We need to take this to the next phase of raising what seems like a huge amount of money to generate the business plan.”

Phase One of the project - which included raising general public awareness and fundraising for a study to show the project has the capacity to be restored and could be viable - is now complete.

Phase Two, which was launched at the New Year’s Day swim, includes a number of requirements such as the need to engage specialists and to fund the studies for this - a sum of around £55,000.

FoOLs has launched a crowdfunding project through which people can pledge a simple donation or support through specific rewards including swimming hats, badges and postcards. The money raised will be used to create the vital studies needed to attract the next stage of funding from organisations such as the National Lottery, Sports England, EU funding and from large corporate organisations. FoOLs are also finalists in the Aviva Community Fund.

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