Leeds & West Yorkshire

Friends of Otley Lido announces plans to reopen pool

Friends of Otley Lido
Image caption Friends of Otley Lido wore bathing suits for the announcement at Wharfemeadows Park

A lido which closed 26 years ago could be reopened with a heated pool, a community group has said.

Friends of Otley Lido has announced an exclusivity deal with Leeds City Council, which owns the site.

The group said it now has 12 months to form plans to raise £5 million needed to bring the lido back to life.

Leonie Sharp of Friends of Otley Lido said the plan was to heat the pool with hydro-electric power.

The West Yorkshire lido closed in 1993 and became a leisure venue for several years before gradually declining and closing to the public.

Image caption Friends of Otley Lido said it needed to raise £5 million to re-open the site, which is owned by Leeds City Council

Ms Sharp said: "There's no likelihood that we'll be be swimming there in the short term, but the plan is to restore this as an outdoor swimming pool for the local community.

"We plan on having a heated swimming pool, ideally heated from hydro-electric power which would make it economically viable and sustainable."

Supporters wore bathing suits for the announcement at Wharfemeadows Park on Saturday.

Friends of Otley Lido, established in 2015, said the site had become "something of an eyesore, spoiling its picturesque riverside location".

The group said the recent floods caused further damage to the site, and part of the retaining wall had collapsed.

There is another lido on the edge of Ilkley Moor, six miles away, which was flooded when the River Wharfe burst its banks in December.

Ilkley lido's main pool is freshwater and unheated, with a lawn for sunbathing and picnicking, and an indoor heated pool.

Image caption Leonie Sharp, Chair of Friends of Otley Lido, said the group hoped to heat the pool with hydro-electric power

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