THE Friends of Otley Lido (FoOLs) received a much-welcomed cash injection from Otley Lions into their project to restore the outdoor swimming pool in Wharfemeadows Park.

Otley Lions mascot Chip Otliensian joined members of the FoOls team and Otley Lions President Gareth Dibble down in the park to hand over a £5,000 cheque towards the £55,000 target needed to fund the initial business plan for the project.

The Friends have been working hard throughout the year with various charity and publicity events both in the park and elsewhere in the town and on New Year’s Day launched a Crowdfunding initiative to help raise the money for the first phase of the restoration.

Otley Lions President Gareth Dibble said: "When looking at the President’s project for 2016/2017 I wanted to make sure that the club supported a local project and one that was aiming high for a true community cause.

“The club are very happy to be able to support Friends of Otley Lido and at every point we have been impressed by their enthusiasm and drive for this project. We would like to also thank the people of Otley (and Santa himself) for all of their support during our Christmas activities as they have helped to make this donation possible."

Leonie Sharp, chair of the Friends of Otley Lido, said the group were delighted with the injection of funds from Otley Lions.

She added: “We are a group of unpaid volunteers just like the Lions are - committed to doing good works for our community. We will make this happen and are totally determined. We do need all the community backing us - businesses, community groups; individuals, everybody. The Otley Lions Club have been amazing and we have so much in common - doing good works for the local community. Thank you, President Gareth and Rebecca Dibble and all the Lions supporters.”

The initial £55,000 will be used to help fund: architectural drawings of what the Lido will look like ready for formal submission as part of any planning application; assessment of flooding risk and how to best manage any potential flood waters; the impact on traffic in the area; the impact on wildlife and general environment; a report on 'Green' energy usage; assessment of the project management and the structural design and build; pool options; site appraisals and clearance; a geotechnical study; assessment of contaminates; development of a business plan and a report on potential corporate/national funding channels to raise money to build the pool.

If any local professional companies are interested in providing any of the above to the group free of charge, then they would be delighted to hear from them.

One of the questions the group is asked often is what would happen to any donations if the project can’t be realised. FoOLs director Tony Maskill Rogan said: “For us it isn't a question of if but when. We are determined to make this happen.

“But, if we all fell in the river tomorrow, for example, the Friends of Otley Lido are an asset locked Community Interest Company and if dissolved we are required legally to nominate another charity or not for profit community group and the monies would be donated to them.

“We could, for example, nominate the Otley Lions and they can distribute our funds. But as we say, our attitude is when and not if which is why we urge people to support us, the sooner we have the funds, the sooner we can get on with this,” he added.

Help support the FoOLs project by pledging at:; follow on Facebook:; Twitter: @Otley_Lido or visit the website: or email: