project with
significant logistical challenges
project with
significant logistical challenges

Cleveland Pools

Bath, West of England

Restoration of the UK’s oldest Grade II* listed lido to its original glory and purpose, to be enjoyed by swimmers for the first time in 40 years!

If you believe in it, you can make it happen


This community-led restoration saw the creation of a new crescent-shaped concrete main pool within the footprint of the original, which was preserved beneath it.

We began by draining the existing pool, followed by the installation of a system of drainage crates to allow natural spring water to continue to flow into the listed pool and around the shell of the new one.

Working with Beard has been great. It has been quite challenging for lots of different reasons along the way and if we hadn't worked really closely and openly together we wouldn't be here today.

Anna Baker, Project Director, Cleveland Pools Trust

The existing children’s pool walls were temporarily held in place while the team excavated out the base to construct the waterproof, below-ground plantroom which is now home to the pool filtration equipment, along with hi-spec water source heat pumps which will be used to heat the pool water. A refreshment kiosk and seating area is housed above the plantroom.

Curving around one length, the original Georgian changing rooms and a central cottage with archway were made structurally safe, restored, stripped of centuries of paint back to their original Bath stone and re-roofed in Welsh slate – some of which was reclaimed from the original roofs.






Cleveland Pools Trust


Donald Insall

Quantity Surveyor

Edmond Shipway

Form of Contract

JCT Intermediate


The 207-year-old Georgian site had significant logistical challenges as all plant and materials could only be brought to the site by boat on the adjacent River Avon.

Machinery, building materials, equipment and everything else required to carry out the major refurbishment work was loaded up at the nearby Avon Rugby Club, which was used as a base and carried up-river by barge.

The barge was limited to carrying five tonnes of material per trip and made around six trips a day - navigating around everything from pleasure craft to the canoeists and kayakers who shared the river.


As well as allowing for access, water from the river will feed the water source heat pumps, providing the pools with sustainable heating solutions when the pool fully re-opens to the public and heating the pool to 28 degrees centigrade.

The restoration is the culmination of an extraordinary 18-year community campaign by Cleveland Pools Trust, supported by thousands of Bathonians.

The overall cost of the project was £9.3m, £6.47m of which came from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project had significant support from the DCMS Capital Kickstart Fund, Historic England and Bath and North East Somerset Council.


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