Pooling funds to reinvigorate a historic lido: Jubilee Pool
Jubilee Pool – operated by Community Benefit Society Jubilee Pool Penzance – is one of the last remaining salt-water lidos in Europe. Opened in 1935, it’s a beautiful art deco facility on the Penzance coast looking out to the Cornish sea.
A stunning lido providing safe seawater bathing for all ages – Jubilee Pool is a unique modernist building of international architectural importance. A tourist attraction in its own right, the pool is now set to provide a catalyst for the future economic regeneration of Penzance.
In 2014, the lido suffered terrible structural damage due to disastrous storms and under-funding, leaving it dilapidated, run down and out of action. A group of local people formed Jubilee Pool Penzance to raise funds and support to restore it. They persuaded local stakeholders, the wider community, Cornwall Council and other local councillors to support them.
Through the Coastal Communities Fund, alongside match funding from various partners, they raised a total of £2.94 million, enabling the complete refurbishment of Jubilee Pool. They applied to the Community Shares Booster Programme to raise money from their local community and received a match-fund of £100,000.
In 2016, it reopened as the ‘jewel in Penzance’s crown’ and now has a new café and community space to generate income for the pool.
Since forming as a Community Benefit Society in 2017, Jubilee Pool Penzance’s priority has been to improve the pool’s sustainability. It was decided to make the facility usable all year round by drilling a 400-metre-deep geothermal well to heat a section of the pool to 35 degrees – and more funds were needed.
The Booster Panel were inspired by the application for this project. Even before it was awarded investment, the pool received additional booster support from a Locality Development Officer who visited the site and worked with the Jubilee Pool Penzance team on the business forecasts and expenditure plans.
The share offer went on to be a huge success, with investments from as little as £20, raising £538,680 from over 1,380 community investors and £100,000 from the Booster. By the time the share offer closed in October 2018 it had also received equity investment from Big Society Capital.