The Grade 2* listed Cleveland Pools in Bath is the UK’s oldest public outdoor swimming pool, built in 1815. It was last used in the mid-1980s and was on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
In 2003 local people set up the Cleveland Pools Trust to save the pools after they were listed for sale by the local council. The pools are being restored and will reopen to the community in 2022. The restoration is being carried out with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as Bath & North East Somerset Council, Historic England and the Department of Culture Media and Sport.
We are committed to finding environmentally friendly solutions to the running of the Pools. As part of the Pools project, the SW Energy Hub supported us to look at low-carbon options. We are now installing a water source heat pump instead of gas boilers to take energy from the adjacent River Avon and heat the pool water at a balmy 28ºC.
We believe Cleveland Pools will be the first lido in the UK to be 100% heated using a low-carbon water source heat pump. Our sustainable technology means we won’t need a fossil fuel gas boiler anywhere on site. That will save around 1,400 tonnes of carbon over 10 years compared to a traditional gas boiler system – equal to the energy-demand of 40 homes.
The pump will be located within the same pontoon in the River Avon where visitors can catch a boat to and from the Pools as part of our green travel plan.
Be resilient! If you have a positive project, people will support you but it's not always easy. Having a community of supporters and volunteers helps to maintain momentum.
The restoration of the pools has been a community led project, from the establishment of the Cleveland Pools Trust to the hundreds of active volunteers working to bring the pools back to life. This community involvement is at the heart of the project. The newly restored pools will be a community facility - open to all, accessible for all, affordable for all.
Our volunteers are currently developing school learning materials on the water source heat pump and other subjects. We’re excited to inspire the next generation of green ambassadors by demonstrating that – even in a sensitive, heritage setting - modern, sustainable technology can be embraced.