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Pool poured down the drain

November 28 2008

A Cumbrian pool has been earmarked for demolition, less than five years after it opened.

The landmark Berners Pool, designed by Hodders Associates, had been left to sink or swim after lying derelict since 2006 when the community trust running it went under.

Unfortunately the former outcome has transpired after South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) belly flopped into Hodders award winning pool.  This followed an assessment of the building fabric allegedly pointed to an exorbitant repair bill that eliminated refurbishment as an option.

Dissenting voices from Aedas and MBLA who proposed an imaginative reuse were drowned out in a public vote of proposed re-designs.

This vote saw local architect Damson Design appointed to overhaul the site, with work involving restoration of a seafront lido, a new medical centre, apartments and a retirement home.

Ironically these plans also call for construction of a new pool, the same size as Hodder’s existing facility.

The pool initially performed swimmingly, making a splash in 2004 with a RIBA Award and Civic Trust commendation.  Poor management ultimately conspired to sink the centre however.

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