THE CAMPAIGN to open a lido in Otley says it urgently needs to transform goodwill into money.

The Friends of Otley Lido has to raise £55,000 to enable a detailed feasibility study of its proposals for an outdoor pool, in Wharfemeadows Park, to be carried out.

The group has been working on securing the funding all year and received boost in September when Otley Town Council pledged £5,000 towards the total.

It is still a long way from its target, however - and so urging people to support its bid for an Aviva Community Fund award by voting, at , before November 21.

If successful the Aviva bid could land the Friends £25,000 which, according to Chair and Company Secretary Leonie Sharp, would make a massive difference.

She said: "Last year we came second in the national Aviva Fund Awards against a gymnastic group.

"All credit to them, but our reach is for the whole community, young and old, with access needs and special abilities such as triathletes and exceptional swimmers, and for local kids to learn to swim.

"A truly accessible facility for the whole community and will bring in much needed attraction for the town of Otley and our local businesses.

"It is so important for the community to support us by voting for us."

The group's plans are ambitious and would see a 30m heated, outdoor pool with a retractable roof created on the site of the old lido.

The scheme, designed to make the pool accessible and affordable to all, would be funded largely through a restaurant and gym on the riverside plot.

Leonie says the backing of residents and local businesses has been vital but that now it is time to also secure major financial support.

She said: "As a committee group we cannot go two paces out of our doors before we are asked enthusiastically how the project is going, and when the lido will be restored.

"It is fantastic the support we have gathered - we have followers far and wide internationally, watching what we are doing not just for Otley but for their own lido restoration projects.

"But support needs to turn into financial backing and, to be really honest, this is where we are finding it harder than we anticipated.

"It is taking us longer than we anticipated but everybody is so supportive in spirit.

"This will happen for our town but we also need the larger bodies, councils and funding organisations to help us reach our target.

"With this phase we need £55,000 and, with pledges, we are about 25 per cent there but we need more support."

The feasibility study will cover everything from producing architectural drawings of what the lido would look like to undertaking an assessment of the flood risk.

The study would also consider the impact on local traffic and the environment along with 'green' energy options and the development of a business plan.

The Friends would be delighted to hear from any local company that might be interested in providing one of those services free of charge.

To find out more visit, send an e-mail to or follow Friends of Otley Lido on Facebook.