Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Lido plan group faces councillors

The lido
Both plans included a refurbishment of the abandoned lido

Campaigners hoping to redevelop an Edwardian swimming pool in Berkshire will face councillors later.

A community group was given two years to find the funds to save the King's Meadow Pool lido in Caversham.

The decision came after Reading council rejected a plan by preferred developer Askett Hawk, which wanted to save the pool and build a hotel alongside.

The King's Meadow Trust Campaign will appear at a scrutiny meeting of the council to discuss the fundraising.

Campaigners had opposed the developer's plan, calling for a community-focused approach rather than a business site with little public access to the surrounding green areas.

King's Meadow Trust Campaign believes the project will cost £2.5m but hope this will be reduced by offers of free labour.

Ice rink

Bob O'Neill, from the group, admitted fundraising had been slow over the winter but said events planned for the coming months will boost finances.

He added: "We are still heading towards the thousands mark at the moment but it has been a hard winter.

"We have a plan to open the pavilion first and use income from that to progress with the lido development."

The group's plan would include an ice rink installed over the pool in winter months and a new cafeteria.

It is also proposing a scheme to provide training to young people willing to help the project.

The Grade II listed 1902 lido has not been in use since 1974.

Askett Hawk said the council's decision last September to dismiss its plan was "political".

But Reading council said it doubted planning issues over the application could be overcome.

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