Cambridge

The grand plans to heat Jesus Green lido and open it all year round

The shock of plunging into Cambridge lido's cold waters could come to an end.

That's the hope of the Jesus Green Association, which wants to revive a bid for funds to open it all year round.

In 2012 a price tag of £2.3 million was put on a proposed revamp of Jesus Green, possibly including use of the weir for hydroelectric power.

The lottery bid for the Cambridge park revealed green space chiefs wanted to explore harnessing the flow of the River Cam to generate power for the historic lido and Rouse Pavilion – next to the swimming pool.

Other elements of the scheme include refurbishing the 1920s pavilion and turning it into a café with new toilets, improving pathways, and installing new signage.

The swimming pool would also have been spruced up, with a longer opening season, separate splash area for children, a kiosk, and an access ramp for disabled customers.

The application was lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund but failed.

A bigger revamp of Jesus Green, budgeted at £4.4 million, failed to win lottery backing in 2009, amid public concern about the loss of trees and construction of a two-storey café.

Shirley Oliver, general manager at Jesus Green Lido (Image: David Johnson/Trinity Mirror)

But now the association wants to revive the plans.

Peter Constable, chairman of the Jesus Green Association, said: "This is still part of an outstanding propopsal.

"We keep pressing the council on this but they recently revamped the toilets in the Rouse building at the Lido and that would last for five years before it needs doing again.

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"What we want is for the toilets to be done and a restaurant to be put in and have some heating in the pool so that it can be used all year round.

"It is freezing and some people do like that but it could be used all year if it was heated and we also want a children's end.

"I have no difficulty in supporting another lottery bid by the city council, as we don't actually own the green."

A view of Chesterton Road and the lock and pedestrian footbridge near Jesus Green in Cambridge, UK.

The revamp will be discussed at the next meeting of the association on Tuesday, June 12 at 8pm in the Octagon Room at Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces.

The pavilion was named after W. W. Rouse Ball, a Trinity College fellow who left funds for the project after his death in 1925.

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Revamping the pavilion was a key part of three bids for lottery funding for Jesus Green, all of which ended in failure. One of the bids envisaged a two-storey café at the lido, plus new piazzas, but this faced major opposition.

Cambridge City Council has been asked for comment.

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