BRITAIN'S oldest lido is set to welcome back public swimming this summer more than 200 years after first opening in 1817.
Cleveland Pools, in Bath, Somerset will reopen on September 10 after being transformed in a 20-year campaign by the Cleveland Pools Trust.
The attraction, and Grade II listed building, was meant to reopen to the public last year, but was hit by delays.
The pools originally closed to the public in the 1980s, while the project to restore them began in 2004 with volunteers working to reopen them.
Over time, support was gained from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, which awarded a £6.5 million grant, along with support from Historic England, Bath & North East Somerset Council (BANES) and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund.
The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) also offered support, as well as individual donors, charitable trusts and foundations and crowdfunding.
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Paul Simons, Chair of the Cleveland Pools Trust, said the project has been "a marathon swim, often against the tide".
"But the sheer determination of the local community as represented by the trustees, an army of volunteers, well-wishers, along with supporters – and our dedicated staff – has seen the project through," he added.
He said a pontoon will soon be delivered to the site via the River Avon, and the commissioning of the water source heat pump, funded by Salix Finance and assisted by WECA, will be complete.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "It's fantastic people can dive into Cleveland Pools this September."
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She said it is a "credit" to volunteers from Bath's community who have "tirelessly and passionately worked to return this beautiful and historic Georgian baths to its original glory".
BANES council leader Kevin Guy said the site is a "huge asset" for Bath.
"Getting to this final stage is the culmination of many years of hard work by everyone involved, thanks to the commitment of so many volunteers," he said.
In order to celebrate the reopening, tickets for the first day are free, although they will need to be booked in advance.
The pool will be heated for those not wanting to have a dip in a cold pool once it reopens.
Earlier this year, the pool won a European Heritage Award.
It was one of just 30 projects to be honoured as an ‘outstanding heritage achievement’, from a wide-ranging field of applications from 21 countries across Europe.
It's not the only lido to be opened in the UK this summer, with another opening right on the beach in Brighton.
The pool, named Sea Lanes Brighton, has been built on a derelict site and "will provide much needed swimming provisions for the city" according to its website.
The lido is open to the public on a pay-per-swim basis with memberships also available.
To take a dip, it will set you back £11, or £7 for those either under 18 or over 60.
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