We’ve received lots of publicity for our recent good news from Carmarthenshire CC that they have agreed, IN PRINCIPLE, to the Asset Transfer of Brynaman Lido to our committee.
We’ve had some fantastic responses, promises of support and congratulatory messages, so thank you to everyone for that. We were overwhelmed and delighted that the hard work of the last few years has paid off. Now the real work begins so please watch this space for a new fundraising page, events and sponsorship opportunities as we set them up.
We need to emphasise that we are still at the beginning of this journey. The in principle agreement for an Asset Transfer of the property from Carmarthenshire CC is great news, but there is still a lot of work to do.
We have to raise a lot of money – an estimated capital budget of £1million for the all-singing, all-dancing facility that we’d like to see. Around £500k of that would be for the potential installation of a stainless steel pool similar to the one that was installed at Lido Ponty. The other £500k will be needed for refurbishment of the facility to make it accessible and high quality.
Our vision is for Brynaman Lido to be a sustainable, exemplar project, so investment in the latest technologies and renewable energy will be high on our agenda too.
It is unlikely that the pool will be open next year – our plans at their most optimistic look at opening in spring 2022.
We would like to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm, but we don’t want to mislead you. It will take a lot of hard work, planning, and fundraising to get this done.
Please also note that some of the photographs and images that we have shared are subject to copyright and need to be credited if they are copied. In particular the 2018 images of the empty pool by Amanda Harwood and the Artist impression by Richard A Hughes based on that.
At the beginning of the year we predicted that this would be the decade of the Lido and recent developments show that we were right.
We learned just over a week ago that Carmarthenshire County Council has agreed in principle to transfer the management of the Lido to our committee under a lease agreement. Their legal department is currently putting together the details.
After quite a few years of planning, research and negotiation we are absolutely delighted with this news.
Now the real work begins as we need to make the preparations and raise the funds to realise our dream to make Brynaman Lido a special place at the heart of the community again. Many thanks to all the people who have supported us so far.
Information on our fundraising campaign, how you can help and how you can donate will be posted on here and on our social media pages shortly. In the meantime if you want to get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly our good news is overshadowed by the terrible damage caused to people’s homes in Wales, particularly in Pontypridd including their wonderful lido. Our hearts go out to them.
November has been very busy for the lido committee. We’ve presented our plans to a number of people and gained more support. Plaid Leader Adam Price, AM took time out of his busy schedule to listen to our plans and is 100% behind us. We want to talk to ALL community leaders and politicians who are interested in reopening the lido.
A big thank you goes to Wales Coop who have guided and supported us through our registration as Brynaman Lido Limited, a Charitable Community Benefit Society. This will help us with fundraising and management of the lido in the future.
We’re also talking to Patrick McLennan, film-maker renowned for The Ponds and his colleagues from the Outdoor Swimming Society about their next project, Splash Palace: The Rebirth of the British Lido. They’d like to feature Brynaman Lido and want to hear your stories and memories of times spent at the pool.
If you have a story to tell or a photo to share please get in touch with us through Messenger on our FB page or email email@example.com.
We continue to make presentations and receive support from across the Quarter Bach and surrounding areas. Our next presentation takes place at Ystradowen Community Centre on Wednesday 6th November at 6.30pm. It takes the form of a short talk with projections followed by a Q&A session where people can ask questions, make suggestions and help us to improve our business case to Carmarthenshire County Council.
Our plans and research continue to develop. To view the latest plans please click on the link below.
Following our survey last year, we continue to consult with the local community to show you our plans and find out what you want to see from a refurbished Brynaman Lido.
We’ve made presentations to the Quarter Bach Community Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, local business and community leaders and Tairgwaith Primary. We will also be presenting to GCG Community Council in September. If you would like us to present to your school or group please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message us on the Brynaman Lido Facebook page.
The presentation lasts about 10 minutes and is followed by a Q&A session where you can find out a bit more about our plans, air your views and let us know what you’d like to see from Brynaman Lido when it reopens.
We are currently working with Carmarthenshire County Council with the hope of having the lido transferred to us in autumn 2019. After that there will be time to fundraise for what we hope will be an amazing facility for us, our children and our children’s children. There are legal requirements and a lot of work to do so we think that the very earliest the lido could open is summer 2021, more likely to be later than that.
Brynaman Lido Committee: Report on Research trip to Buckfastleigh Lido
This was a great trip for us. As well as being an opportunity to see a lido in action, meet and question the staff and management, it was a good experience for members of the committee to get their heads together and focus on the future of our lido.
We have come away with lots of information and there are lots more questions that we will want to ask of Buckfastleigh, of other lidos and of ourselves.
The popularity of outdoor swimming has led to a resurgence in lidos in the UK. Requirements of a modern society and developments in technology for operating and heating open air pools means that it is a very different landscape that we are looking at when researching the variety of possibilities for managing Brynaman Lido when it reopens. Whilst there is a lot of information available online and from companies who provide the various methods of operation, we felt it would be helpful to see an outdoor pool in action and talk to the people who manage it face to face.
We researched a number of lidos that we believe have similar operational and management arrangements to Brynaman. Of those, we felt that the contact and support that we had received from Pam Barrett, Director of Buckfastleigh Open Air Swimming Pool, would be most useful. Whilst it is a much smaller pool, its position in the local community is very similar to that of Brynaman Lido.
Like Brynaman, the local authority Teignbridge DC, had been running the pool as part of its leisure provision and had proposed to close it. After some serious negotiation and lobbying, Pam Barrett and her team were able to show that there was good reason for them to pass over the reins to the local community. Further information about the background and running of the pool is available: http://www.buckfastleighpool.co.uk/
The pool has been open every year since 2015, with regular hours from May to September also opening intermittently for special events such as Easter and Boxing Day.
Manager and Staffing
Ian Savage is the manager for Buckfastleigh Open Air Pool. That includes the management, operational and staffing of the pool itself plus the playground that lies adjacent to it. Prior to being employed by the Trust Ian was part of the team that managed the sports facilities and pools at Teignbridge Council. He had already worked as a manager at Buckfastleigh employed by them so knew a lot about the pool.
Ian has a permanent employment contract with the Trust for 1400 hours per year. During the summer months the workload is intense and generally involves 4 X 10 hour days per week. He is able to spread the rest of his hours to carry out essential administration, health & safety and operational issues when the pool is less busy. He is also able to take on other work when the pool is closed.
2 lifeguards who are also qualified as supervisors are employed on seasonal contracts which run from May to September.
They have a fail-safe structure as one of the lifeguards is a qualified level 2 manager and they also have level 3 supporters amongst the 7 volunteer lifeguards who can all supervise should anyone fall ill or have to deal with something that takes the manager away from the pool. The manager is also responsible for training lifeguards. The pool makes some extra income by training lifeguards from other organisations.
Volunteers are paid with free swims, e.g. for a receptionist 1 shift = 1 swim. They have a volunteer who manages the volunteer rotas.
Health & Safety training for all staff is incredibly important. If we are planning to keep the pool open when it’s not heated, we should have staff trained in cold water shock.
Current timetable and pricing
The timetable and pricing are calculated in response to the needs of the local community. To make the pool as accessible as possible to the less well-off residents the Trust raises funds for subsidised and free swims that they can allocate in response to need.
The pool is cleaned by filters that are situated in a pump house at the far corner of the pool. It is dosed with chlorine with a self-dosing automated system, although they still test the water every 2 hours to make sure all is working OK.
It is heated by 2 gas boilers (recently replaced at a cost of £10k). To get the pool from its May temperature unheated of 14 degrees up to 28 degrees takes around 4 days. They have a good quality pool cover which helps to retain the heat and is put over the pool outside swim times.
The team who runs the pool set up a company limited by guarantee to act as the corporate entity for management purposes. This doesn’t trade and submits nil activity in its accounts each year. The trading is all done through the Trust, a separate charity which trades and provides accounts of all the income and expenditure for the pool.
Buckfastleigh is lucky in that Pam Barrett is also the Mayor and a member of the Town Council. The pool is included in their neighbourhood plan. Her way of developing the lido is to make it better than it needs to be, e.g. they provide better than just the basic service. It is viewed as a local regeneration project that will not only service the local community but also provide a stream of visitors and footfall to the town.
Whilst Buckfastliegh is in a relatively well-heeled area, the town itself is in a pocket of poverty with high depravation stats. The ethos of the management is to provide opportunities of training and employment for young people in the town. They also raise additional funds to provide free swimming to less well-off people and their families. They have a strong relationship with other organisations in the town that support young people and have a very positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the area.
They receive £20k subsidy from Buckfastleigh Town Council. This was achieved by increasing the local tax levy to provide for the pool and other local amenities that were deemed important to the community.
Key points to remember:
Membership schemes often subsidise people who can already afford to pay – it is important to make the facility available for the whole community.
A contract for staff can be for a set amount of flexible hours over a year or seasonal
Keep going and don’t believe everything people say – they often aren’t experts and have less knowledge than you do.
Explore all the legal options for taking over the lido
Special events and services are often more lucrative than regular swimming, e.g. Night Swims, Early morning swims, classes and aqua therapy.
We’ve been developing our business case to take over the management of Brynaman Lido from Carmarthenshire County Council. This has taken a lot of time and consultation with them and with the local community.
We are now having very positive discussions with council officers about moving forward with our proposals.
We have spent the last year researching and making plans for the future and this current plan is the result. Nothing is set in stone here and the plan will continue to evolve as we find out new methods of operation and move forward to take over the lido. Click the title / link below to access the plan.
Photographer and author Amanda Harwood has been going around the UK photographing lidos – some open and some not. She came to Brynaman in July when the weather was a bit better and here are two of the beautiful shots she shared with us.