Save Ware Lido
Written by Josh Dean on 2 September 2019
On Saturday 31st August, the East Herts Radio Team visited the Ware Lido – a much loved part of the local community – to speak to the team about their campaign to keep the Lido open for longer and raise money for vital maintenance.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Megan Sharkey, the Duty Manager, about the campaign and to hear about the work she’s done speaking to those who frequent the Lido and campaigning to keep it open.
Both those who work at the Lido and those that run it – Ware Town Council – are keen to keep the Lido open later during the year. Rather than closing it at the end of the summer, they want to explore ways to keep it open later in the year.
However, keeping the Lido open into the Autumn would mean exploring ways of keeping the pool heated and, because it’s an outdoor pool rather than an indoor pool, it’s much harder to regulate the temperature.
An idea that has been suggested is that GSK – who helped to pay for renovations to be made to the Lido just a few years ago – could funnel some of their excess energy across the street to provide heat for the pool.
But the team at the Lido are also exploring other ways that the site could be used later in the year. Some have suggested that the pool could be drained, and outfitted with a stage to turn the Lido into a live music venue or an open cinema.
Despite all this, the biggest problem facing the Ware Lido is money – not only do they need to raise more money to keep the Lido open, they also need to raise money to keep it running.
Just this year, the Lido is already in debt from the costs of running. Though it is supported by Ware Town Council and the Friends of Ware Lido charity, it’s becoming increasingly costly to run such a popular part of the local community.
Without support from the local community, there’s a concern as to whether or not Ware Lido will be able to remain open at all in the future – let alone keeping it open later in the year.
During our interview, Megan Sharkey discussed ways in which local residents could help to keep the Lido open and raise money and was keen on reaching out to local businesses to help make up some of the shortfall, and find ways they could work together.
When talking to Megan, it became clear that part of the problem was the lack of publicity that the Lido receives. It’s often assumed that everyone living in Ware knows about the Lido, but quite often they’ll have local people coming in to grab a leaflet, who’d previously had no idea the Lido existed.
It’s clear that the Lido is a much loved part of the local community. Not only that, but it’s an important job provider to local young people with many of the staff ranging from 16 years old to their 20s.
It’s vital that local people get together to help raise money for the Lido and promote the campaign to save Ware Lido.
You’ll be able to hear East Herts Radio’s interview with Megan and find out more about the campaign on my show, “Talking with Josh Dean,” on Wednesday 4th September at 9:00pm.