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Tuesday 25th July 2023

FoOL Seeking to Commission a Leisure Consultant

FooL are seeking to commission a suitably qualified leisure consultant to undertake market analysis, advise on operational parameters, sketch concept designs and produce an outline business plan.

Submissions close on 29th August 2023 at 5pm.

Please email for a brief and background information.

Tuesday 13th June 2023

FoOL Newsletter - June 2023

Our latest newsletter is available now and includes:

  • an update on the project

  • an introduction to committee member Francesca Gains

  • fundraising events and update

  • outdoor swimming

  • a focus on sustainability

  • and much more!

Read the full June 2023 newsletter here.

Newsletter June 2023 Cover Picture.jpg

Sunday 16th October 2022

FoOL Project Update

During our crowdfunding campaign we were contacted by a number of professionals who kindly offered their services on a pro-bono basis. Over the last few months we have been utilising this expertise to review, refine and progress our plans in light of both the excellent ideas and feedback from our community and the changing economic landscape. This has been achieved without incurring any costs. We shall shortly commence deploying the funds raised for ‘Phase 1’ (Specialist Studies) by commissioning a leisure consultant to undertake market analysis and financial modelling. The resulting outline business plan can then be used to inform future decision making. We anticipate commissioning additional specialists to undertake further studies and surveys focussed on site investigation, design, construction and aspects relating to the local community in 2023.

For more details please read on…

Thanks to the amazing support of our community and a number of high profile backers we surpassed our fundraising target of £65,000 for ‘Phase 1’ (Specialist Studies) in late 2021. We vowed to only deploy these funds at a time when we were satisfied with our approach. These funds remain ring fenced for Phase 1 and we are pleased to say we shall commission the first study shortly.

During the crowdfunding campaign we were contacted by a number of professionals offering their services on a pro-bono basis. We have engaged with these specialists and built a network of experts to advise us. One such individual is a Leeds-based retired leisure and planning consultant who is also a keen outdoor swimmer. We jumped at his offer to provide pro-bono advice so we could utilise his extensive experience with over 50 swimming pool projects including the London Aquatics Centre (venue for the 2012 Olympic Games).

Although our aims are not as lofty as an Olympic venue(!), we felt it prudent to review our project before commissioning any studies. We have ensured that the excellent input and feedback from the community, stakeholders and partners that was conveyed during the crowdfunding campaign has been assimilated into our existing thinking. Additionally, we have considered significant new factors such as the dramatically changing economic landscape - including the cost of living and energy price crises – which mean sustainability takes on even greater importance.

We have committed a considerable – but necessary - amount of time to review and refine our plans. This process has required us to question the rationale, clarify and evaluate our decisions but also maintain a flexible approach so we don’t rule anything out prematurely. We have been able to do this without incurring any costs by utilising our network of experts and new committee members whom have contributed fresh perspectives. We are delighted to say we nearly at the end of this process and shall be moving forwards shortly.

The first stage is to commission a leisure consultant to undertake market analysis and financially model some of the options to the industry standard. This shall result in an outline business plan for a minimum of 10 years detailing facilities, operating models, etc. and the associated income and expenditure. This shall ensure the lido is a sustainable venture and help inform our future decision making.

Subsequent to the market analysis and financial modelling we shall review the project again with the aim of commissioning further specialist studies in 2023. These studies and surveys shall focus on site investigations, design and construction methods in order to assess the capital costs and feasibility. The studies shall also examine and consider the impact of the project on local issues such as flood risk, ecology, heritage, traffic, parking, etc. When combined with the financial modelling these studies shall allow us to produce designs for the site - each with a fully costed business plan and evaluation of other relevant factors.

We remain confident in the viability of the project but need to be evidence-led in our decision making and have a robust, sustainable business plan. The approach we are adopting is best practice and shall enable us to maximise the potential of the site and our chances of securing future funding.

Please be assured that the focus of our committee is firmly upon safeguarding the community’s investment and generous good will. The next steps for our project are crucial if we are to avoid any wrong turns or missed opportunities. However, we would also like to reassure you that we understand your wish for timely progress with the venture. With this in mind, we intend to provide further updates at regular intervals as well as exploring opportunities to engage you in further conversations around your expectations for the lido.

We shall continue to attend community events – the next being the Victorian Fayre. Please do visit our stall and share your ideas and feedback which we are always grateful to receive. Our committee members shall also be happy to provide you with the latest update. However, you are most welcome to contact us at any time via email or our social media channels.

The monies raised since the crowdfunding – and any we raise over the coming months - enable us to maintain the integrity of the project by protecting the existing funds and go towards servicing our small on-going costs. Any surplus monies shall be put towards future phases of the project so you can be assured that your generous donations shall continue to benefit the project.

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