PLANS to create a lido for Saddleworth are progressing swimmingly.
The idea was launched in January by outdoor swimming enthusiasts Katy Boulton and Erica Ryan, who aim to have an open air, partially heated pool, constructed and maintained to high eco standards.
So far they have gathered support from Saddleworth Parish Council and the community, including 1,500 members on their Saddleworth Lido Facebook group.
The pair explained: “The project has grown from a twinkle in the eye of a couple of keen outdoor swimmers to something that hundreds of Saddleworthians are actively supporting and getting involved in.
Erica Ryan (L) and Katy Boulton (R) after a swim at Sparth in Marsden September 2020
“The project group is now establishing a series of working parties around community engagement, fundraising, health and wellbeing, and planning/site.
“If you’re interested or if you have skills and expertise to offer it’s definitely not too late for you to join in.
“The goal remains a partially heated medium-sized pool that will be a fantastic resource, with our local community at its heart.
“The preferred site is a portion of the ‘old’ Saddleworth school site (in Uppermill), but other sites are also being investigated.
“Having garnered the support of Saddleworth Parish Council early on, the project group has now had its first exploratory meeting at borough council level, a meeting that was very encouraging.
“Clearly the Lido won’t be created overnight, but the initial positive dialogue will be developed into a more detailed conversation over the coming weeks and months.
“Outdoor pools around the country are now permitted to open, and this serves as a reminder of how far people in our area have to travel to find a Lido (the nearest ones being in Hathersage, Derbyshire and Ilkley, North Yorkshire).
“Other open water swimming is permitted in, for example Salford Quays, Sale Water Park and at Sparth, Marsden.
“We hope to be able to bring something closer to home, providing outdoor swimming in Saddleworth that is safe and fun, and that boosts our physical and mental health and wellbeing.”
To find out more about the Saddleworth Lido Project email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the project on Facebook @Saddleworthlido or Twitter @lidosaddleworth.