The Cleveland Pools Trust has taken a ground-breaking step in developing a scheme for the restoration of the grade II* listed Cleveland Pools – the country’s only surviving Georgian open-air pools, which date from 1815.
Rather than a chemical system, the trust have selected the Clear Water Revival natural filtration system for the 25 meter open air public swimming pool.
The swimming pool water will be kept clean using a high-tech biofiltration system.
The trust have selected the technologically advanced Clear Water Revival filter system as it uses natural processes instead of chemicals to keep the water crystal clear at all times.
Friendly microorganisms and minerals in the system control levels of phosphorus, nitrogen and pH, resulting in chemical free, mineralised pool water.
Unlike other natural swimming pools, the use of this advanced system will also enable the Cleveland Pools to have chemical free swimming water without the need for planted filter zones.
This means that the water can be heated to around 28 degrees centigrade and the pool can be covered to conserve heat and save energy.
Once restored, this public natural swimming pool will therefore be the first in the world to have a heated, freshwater, 100% chemical free swimming environment without the need for a planted filter zone.
Natural Filtration – Restoring Cleveland Pools to its freshwater origins
Cleveland Pools are the country’s oldest surviving and only Georgian/Regency period open-air pools.
The mainpool was originally river-fed, and the fully screened ‘Ladies Pool’ was fed by piped spring water, and were one of the earliest examples of a ‘Subscription Pool’ – built with private money for public use. A few years later, this glorious open-air venue had become so popular that the Victorians added a children’s upper pool.
Sadly the Pools closed in 1984 after public funds had been re-directed to Bath’s new Sports and Leisure Centre.
The Cleveland Pools Trust was formed to campaign to bring the grade II* listed pools back into use for the local community, and will add a new attraction for Bath Spa town’s many heritage visitors.
“The pools were originally designed as a river-fed freshwater pool and choosing the Clear Water Revival System means that we can restore the pool to its freshwater origins without compromising on the architectural design. We are delighted to be working with such a technologically advanced and environmentally sound company”. – Cleveland Pools project director Christopher Heath
The trust was awarded a development grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 2014 and a further HLF grant of £3.7m has been earmarked towards total restoration costs estimated to be £4.2m. This second grant is dependent upon a successful stage II funding application and the Trust raising £600,000 matched funding from the private sector. ,
For the site to run itself sustainably, it will not just be used as a unique swimming venue; this important sporting and heritage asset will be perfect for many water-related training opportunities, compact corporate events, small-scale weddings, historical outings and children’s parties. The scheme includes the addition of a riverside pontoon to enable visitors to arrive by boat and will promote a historic walking route via the nearby canal towpath to Sydney gardens, the Holbourne museum and centrals baths other heritage attractions.
Further Information about Cleveland Pools
If you are interested in supporting this scheme or would like to sign up for updates of progress, please visit the trusts website. When approved, works will start next year in 2017, in time for outdoor swimming early in 2018. The development of the project has been supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES), Historic England and the Princes Regeneration Trust.