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OUR VISION

Our aim is to redevelop the derelict Otley baths a vibrant, year-round community venue featuring a heated lido.

 

Our starting point is to deliver the core facilities that can immediately bring about benefits to our community and ensure the venue is financially sustainable. These include:

  • 25m accessible heated pool

  • wet play area

  • poolside terrace

  • supporting infrastructure (e.g. changing rooms, plant room, reception, etc.)
  • cafe

  • home for Wharfemeadows Bowling Club

  • public toilets for visitors to the park

 

However, we shall also explore other facilities including:

  • a secondary (learner / multi-purpose) pool

  • sauna / spa

  • gym and/or fitness studio

  • community / multi-purpose room

  • restaurant / bar

  • any other option(s) that meet the needs of the community and add value to the project

To maximise our chances of success we shall appraise the options to identify the best possible blend(s) of facilities for the venue and how they can be best delivered including incorporating the existing buildings and/or new build options.

The venue would be community owned, community run and for the benefit of the community.

Lidos across the country are experiencing a magnificent resurgence...our plans are ambitious but they are not unrealistic!

Despite our name - we are no FoOLs! Lidos around the country are experiencing a magnificent resurgence and we want Otley to be part of that! Our project aims to return the baths to its heyday - albeit in a modern guise. We want a venue which benefits the local community through improving health and well-being and provides economic benefits for the town by virtue of it being a destination for visitors from further afield.

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As Shadow Tourism Minister I've been round the country and seen the boost to both local communities and the economy a Lido has brought with visitors flocking for outdoor swimming. We need a facility like this here to provide a leisure amenity for local people and attract new visitors to Otley.

Alex Sobel MP (Leeds North West)

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Sustainability

Sustainability is key to our vision and integral to our decision-making. We have given great thought and consideration to how our project can be sympathetic to the environment during its life-cycle - design, build and operationally. But it's not just about minimising its environmental footprint but also maximising the positive impacts it can make such as to the visual aspects of Wharfemeadows Park and the town.

Additionally, FoOL's values place financial sustainability and viability at the heart of our plans. The venue needs to be self-sustaining  whilst simultaneously being affordable for users - hence our desire to provide a variety of facilities and activities on the site which shall provide diversified revenue streams. It would be irresponsible of us to build the venue unless it can operate succesfully.

Everyone is well aware of the positive impact of exercise on physical and mental health and the importance of children learning to swim. So yes, the community shall be able to come for a swim and take part in other activities. Yes, swimmers and triathletes shall be able to train here. And yes, the lido shall help address the shortage of swimming lessons in the area.

However, our aim is to be much more than a place to swim! We want the lido to be a hub that connects our community. A destination where families can come to relax and enjoy themselves. An accessible venue where everyone can take part in activities, have a drink or meal and connect with others. A place where children and adults can learn life lessons through sport and establish a healthy relationship with exercise for the rest of their lives. And who knows, maybe a place where future Olympians begin their journeys!

Lidos across the country are experiencing a resurgence and others that had previously closed are being regenerated and re-opening. Our plans are ambitious but they are not unrealistic!

Read about how we intend to bring our vision to fruition in 'Our Journey' - click here.

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