Brightlingsea Lido improves accessibility with new amenities

A POPULAR leisure pool is now fully accessible to wheelchair users after £12,000 in grant funds installed a new lift.

Brightlingsea Lido’s outdoor swimming pool now has a winch to allow wheelchair users and swimmers with reduced mobility to safely enter and exit the pool.

The changing rooms are also now much more user-friendly for people with reduced mobility, with a wall-mounted and height-adjustable adult changing bench.

The money to fund additions to the facilities at Brightlingsea Lido came courtesy of Colchester Catalyst Charity and the FSJ Trust.

Colchester Catalyst Charity, a grantmaking trust which offers financial assistance for special medical or mobility equipment for individuals, has donated £11,000 to the project, while the FSJ Trust, which offers support for projects based in Essex, donated £1,000.

Although the money has been ready to be spent since October 2019, the purchase of the specialist equipment was delayed by the tidal surge damage to the lido in early 2020, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic which hit a few months later.

The winch and height-adjustable changing bench are among the significant upgrades that have been made to Brightlingsea Lido in recent years, with a ramped main poolside entrance, handrails and an accessible changing room, all built in 2018 .

Brightlingsea Mayor and Lido Administrator Mick Barry described the standards set for a range of disabled users as “exemplary”.

He said: ‘We realize there is still work to be done as part of our access mission, but we are proud that this small community lido is now setting exemplary standards for a range of disabled users.’

Mr Barry added that the lido is now more accessible than it has ever been and will further improve the facility as an asset to the community.

“We are on track with our five-year plan and we can say, – for the first time in its history, that Brightlingsea Lido truly welcomes everyone.

“A big thank you to the charity Catalyst for their support; it will make a positive difference for so many people.

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