THE FRIENDS of Otley Lido are holding an auction of promises to generate vital funds.

The group, working on plans to get a heated outdoor pool opened on the site of the old lido at Wharfemeadows Park, needs £25,000 to complete the project’s current phase.

Its members were disappointed recently after missing out - despite strong public backing - on an Aviva Community Fund grant that could have covered the shortfall.

But then Friends of Otley Lido Chair Leonie Sharp received some inspiration from an unexpected source: BBC Radio 4’s long-running soap The Archers.

She said: “We really were at a loss about what to do when we didn’t win the Aviva Community Fund, despite gathering the most votes throughout the UK, so we were very disheartened.

“However, we are a determined bunch of folk and when I listened to The Archers one Sunday and heard about an Auction of Promises I thought that would be perfect for the Otley lido.”

The group’s committee agreed and the result is an online auction of promises that will run until September, when there will be a community auction fundraising night (including a professional host and a three-course meal) held at Otley Rugby Club.

Individuals and businesses are being asked to pledge to do something, or offer goods, and then people can either bid for the pledge or choose a ‘buy it now’ option at at .

The money raised will be used to pay for specialist studies that are needed to establish what exactly can be built on the plot at Wharfemeadows Park.

A number of promises have already been made including:

*The donation of a commission from a house sale to the campaign, from Doris Dent Estates

*A garden party for up to 12, from Courtyard Planters

*A boiler service from Sowdens of Otley

To kick things off in style the Friends are offering a time-limited pledge from Otley Cycle Races of two special Guest Hospitality passes to British Cycling’s Elite Circuit Series Races, which take place in town on Wednesday, July 3.

The tickets are on the site now and can be bid on until Wednesday, June 26.

Leonie added: “We are asking all of the community to get on board, donate your services and pledges - and for the community to buy them, knowing that the money will all go to the Otley lido.

“This is a way that we can crowdfund the project while people will be able to get the services they need and businesses and individuals show their support for the lido campaign.”

To donate a prize or find out more send an e-mail to or call 07765 284078.