An aerial view of a crescent-shaped outdoor swimming pool set beside a river surrounded by trees and gardens
Cleveland Pools, Britain's oldest lido, is undergoing an £8m regeneration project. © Casey Ryder
Cleveland Pools, Britain's oldest lido, is undergoing an £8m regeneration project. © Casey Ryder

Historic England Increases Grant for the Repair of Cleveland Pools in Bath

Historic England has increased its grant support for the regeneration of Cleveland Pools by £123,681. The additional funding has been pledged to the Cleveland Pools Trust to complete the repairs to the Grade II* listed building, Britain’s oldest lido.

Repairs under way at Cleveland Pools


Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

News of the additional funding comes after a month-long crowdfunding appeal to get the £8 million project over the finish line. Work is due to be complete this summer and the pools will reopen to the public.

Historic England’s grant increase of £123,681 will help meet the cost of additional repairs to the historic stonework, which have come to light as the project has progressed. The original grant of £412,960 was awarded in December 2020.

The 18-year campaign to bring Cleveland Pools back into community use will finally be achieved in 2022. Despite rising costs, technical challenges and the unforeseen impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic the Cleveland Pools Trust has been able to rely on the unfailing support of Historic England throughout. The enhanced grant aid is most welcome and will enable the trust to complete the works on site this year.

Paul Simons, Chair Cleveland Pools Trust

Britain's oldest lido

Dating from 1815, Cleveland Pools are believed to be the oldest surviving public outdoor swimming pools in England and thought to have been designed by local architect John Pinch (1769–1827). Their layout, in the shape of a miniature Georgian crescent, and their place within the social history of outdoor swimming, make them unique in Britain.

The site first opened as a river-fed pool, and subsequently enjoyed a colourful history through the Victorian era to its heyday in the 1970s until Cleveland Pools eventually closed to swimming in 1984. For a short time, the site was used as a trout farm, but it was threatened with demolition as an alternative to repair.

I am very pleased with the additional funding for the pools. This is an exciting project and this extra help means the opening of the pool is ever closer. These pools will be a huge asset to the local community and I issue a huge thank you to those who have made it happen!

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath

Support from far and wide

The Cleveland Pools Trust (CPT) was formed in 2004 to rescue the pools from dilapidation. The pools were placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register in 2005.

Since then, thousands of supporters from far and wide have joined the campaign and today the CPT has a diverse team of more than 100 volunteers who give their time freely - fundraising, engaging with the community, managing heritage assets, organising events and publicising progress.

Follow the progress of the Cleveland Pools Project and find out ways to support and get involved:

The rescue of Cleveland Pools is one of the most important conservation projects in the South West. We are delighted we have been able to provide additional support at this crucial stage. The reopening of these fantastic historic pools is now firmly in sight.

John Ette, Partnerships Team Leader Historic England