Make history and be one of the first to jump in!

by Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, United Kingdom

We did it
On 8th April 2022 we successfully raised £81,414 ( + est. £7364.50 Gift Aid ) with 856 supporters in 48 days

Cleveland Pools is Britain's oldest Lido. Closed to swimmers for almost 40 years, restoration is underway and we plan to reopen this summer!

by Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

There are many more things the Cleveland Pools Trust could deliver as part of this restoration project if we exceed the crowdfunding target. 

We would love our visitors to have the best experience possible when they visit the Cleveland Pools. Not only could we complete the restoration, and continue to deliver projects in the community, we could also install a specialised pontoon that would protect our water source heat pump and allow visitors to access the Pools from the river. This means we could fully implement our Green Travel Plan that aims to get more people travelling to the Pools in ways that are both good for their health and the environment.

We would also purchase some outdoor furniture, fit out our kiosk space and buy a fantastic canopy over the seating area on the terrace creating an adaptable space that means our visitors can relax at the Pools whatever the weather!

So, if we exceed our target we'll spend any additional money raised to create a better space for you. One where you can meet with friends, have a post swim refreshment or comfortably sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  



In summer 2022 the Cleveland Pools Trust aims to re-open Britain's oldest lido after a dedicated group of local volunteers tirelessly campaigned to save it from dereliction. This is the final push. The last lap. And we need your help to raise the remaining funds to make dreams of swimming once again at this magical outdoor pool a reality.

And what's more.... we're offering you the chance to be one of the first to swim! (scroll down for details)

It's not just a swimming pool...


You might think, 'it’s just a swimming pool!' but we like to think we're a bit different from your average pool and here's why:

  • Britain's oldest Lido. We're over 200 years old so we have a few stories to tell, characters to meet and histories to uncover! We've come a long way since 1815 and we're excited to start a new chapter of our history
  • Community is at our core. We're a volunteer led organisation with just a small staff team to help deliver this project and we currently run a large community engagement programme. You can find out about upcoming activity on our events page 
  • Open to all.  Built to preserve the decency of the Georgian male middle classes we're now aiming to be open to everyone. We hope to be affordable and take up our place as Bath's local Pool. We've met thousands of people with memories of the pool and we want to make lots more!  
  • Fit for the future.The pools are not just being restored but they're being built to last. We're investing in environmentally friendly technologies, like a Water Source Heat Pump to heat the pool water (it used to be freezing!), and a Green Travel Plan to reduce our carbon footprint and help our visitors have healthier lifestyles. 

....and did we mention we have one of the lesser known crescents in Bath? 

Still don't believe us? Then maybe our Project Director, Anna, can convince you we really are something special....

A bit of background...

sepia photo from 1910 of male swimmers standing on the edge of the outdoor pool of Cleveland Pools, BathCleveland Pools is Britain's oldest public outdoor swimming pool. Built in 1815, the site first opened as a river fed pool, and subsequently enjoyed a colourful history through the Victorian era to its heyday in the 1970s. But sadly it was closed for swimming in 1984.

For a short time afterwards, it was used as a trout farm, but it was threatened with demolition as an alternative to repair. In 2003 the owner, Bath and Northeast Somerset council, put the site up for sale, and it was added to the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register. 

Thanks to the determination of a group of local people, the Cleveland Pools Trust was formed in 2004 to rescue the pools from dilapidation. In 2006 its listed building status was raised from II to II*.

After ongoing fundraising efforts the project was recognised by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund , Historic England, the local authority and charitable funders and private donors. And so, in May 2021 restoration work began.

Construction is well underway but now it's time for the final push to be able to re-open the Pools during summer 2022. Here's a *quick* update of the progress we've made...

So, how can you help?

When it was discovered that the site was for sale the community stepped up to save it. A small group of local people formed a charitable trust and began a relentless campaign and fundraising drive to get the Pools open again. Thousands of supporters from far and wide have joined the campaign and today the Trust has a team of more than 100 volunteers who give their time freely: fundraising, engaging with the community, managing heritage assets, organising events and publicising progress. Now, just a few months away from re-opening the Cleveland Pools you too can join us - to step up, play your part in history, and ensure this outdoor pool is open for the community to enjoy

The Crowdfunder 

The Pools will be a place for everyone to enjoy and the Trust is grateful for any support given. So there's no minimum donation (or maximum!). Give what you're comfortable with and if you are a UK taxpayer, tick the box to gift aid your contribution, it makes a big difference to us. If you're not in a position to donate, but still want to be in with a chance to be one of the first to swim then you can still submit an entry and we'll make sure you don't miss out.

Your donation is vital to help finish restoring the Pools and it will also help the Trust to continue to deliver community projects across Bath and the local area. 


How to Enter

To say 'Thank you' to our communities for supporting our project and engaging with our Crowdfunder we're also giving you the opportunity to be one of the first people to get back in the water. Enter to be in the running to win once in a lifetime tickets for you and a friend to be some of the first to swim in the newly restored Cleveland Pools! 

Between 18th February - 8th April 2022 you can enter by emailing [email protected] with your name, address, phone number and email address. If you'd prefer to enter by post send a postcard with the above contact details to CPT First Swim, Percy Community Centre, New King Street, Bath BA1 2BN. 

If you are one of the 100 lucky winners you, together with a friend, will be able to test the (now heated) waters at the newly restored Cleveland Pools later this year. You can only enter once so make sure you share this with your friends to maximise your chance of winning! Please see below for the full Terms and Conditions.

We are almost there and can imagine the delight of old and new swimmers to once again be able to swim and socialise in this lovely community pool. So donate now, enter the draw and secure the future of Bath's local pool.


Terms and Conditions

  • The First Swim draw is open to UK residents aged 18 and over. Employees of Cleveland Pools Trust may not enter. 
  • You can enter the First Swim draw by sending your name, address, email and contact telephone number by email to [email protected] or post to: CPT First Swim, Cleveland Pools Trust, Percy Community Centre, New King St Bath BA1 2BN. 
  • Incomplete entries and postal entries with insufficient postage will not be eligible for the First Swim draw.
  • Each email or postcard counts as a single entry into the First Swim draw. There is only one entry per person. 
  • Postal entries must be received by Friday 8th April 2022.
  • The First Swim draw begins on Friday 18th February 2022 and ends on Friday 8th April 2022.
  • 100 winners will be chosen at random via a draw conducted and witnessed by two independent witnesses. Winners’ names will be published on the Cleveland Pools website 
  • Winners will be notified via email within 14 days of the closing date. 
  • Each First Swim is for two people, one of which must be the First Swim draw winner. There is no age restriction for the winners’ guest but any under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. 
  • First Swims can be claimed on one of two specific days only. Details will be provided to winners when confirmed. 
  • First Swims are non-transferrable and cannot be exchanged for cash. 
  • If for any reason the draw cannot be held all entrants will be notified. 
  • The promoter is Cleveland Pools Trust, Percy Community Centre, New King St Bath BA1 2BN. By participating in this First Swim draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  • Cleveland Pools Trust will handle your data responsibly and in accordance with all data protection legislation. You can read our privacy policy here


Below are some frequently asked questions to help you understand more about our Crowdfunder project. 

Your donation

Q.Where can I find out more about Cleveland Pools and the restoration project?

A.There is a lot of information on the Cleveland Pools website including the history of the pools, details about the restoration and what you can expect as a visitor.

Q. How will my donation be used?

A. Plans to restore the Pools were developed by the Trust and have gained the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund as the main funder of the restoration project, as well as B&NES Council, Historic England and the Department of Culture Media and Sport. We continue to fundraise to ensure every aspect of the project is delivered to the highest quality. Through the crowdfunder we need to raise a further £80k which is where we are hoping you can help! This donation will go towards putting the finishing touches to the project and will get us ready to open the pools later this year.

Q. If I donate more than once will I have more chance of winning one of the first swims?

A. No, there is a limit of one entry, per person. 

Q. If I win a first swim, can I bring a friend?

A. Yes! We are offering 100 people (and a lucky friend) the chance to be among the first 100 swims in the pool!

Q. How do I enter?

A. Between 18th February - 8th April 2022 you can enter for the chance to be one of the first to swim by emailing [email protected] with your name, address, phone number and email address. If you'd prefer to enter by post, send a postcard with the above contact details to CPT First Swim, Percy Community Centre, New King Street, Bath BA1 2BN.


Q. Can I bring my pet?

A. Unfortunately not at the moment. We love our furry friends, but this swim event will be for humans only :)

Q. Is there disabled access?

A.Our site is accessible for many disabled patrons, however we can’t guarantee this for all needs. Please let us know your requirements before you visit and we will respond with further details to confirm. Please enquire via the contact form on our website. 

Q. Will there be refreshments on site?

A. We hope so! This is one of the facilities that we have planned as part of the restoration. Your donation will contribute to us being able to achieve this. 

Q. What are the facilities like?

A. There are showers and lockers on site - both, outdoor at either end of the pools. The new WC block will be adjacent to the new children’s pool in the north-east corner of the site, tucked into the bank and under trees to minimise visual impact. There is 1 cubicle and 2 urinals for men, and 4 cubicles for ladies.

Q. Is there parking at the pools?

A. No, there is no parking at the pools. 32,000 people live within easy walking distance of the Pools so a “Green Travel Plan” promotes walking, cycling, public transport and coming by boat using the Boating Station boats which operate between Easter and October and can drop people off on our reinstated landing stage. Two dedicated parking bays will be provided for disabled visitors. 

Q. What will the event look like?

A. More information will be sent to the winners once the draw has taken place.

Q. What safety precautions are in place to address Covid risks?

A. Your health and safety is really important to us. Measures will be in place in line with Government guidance at the time of the event. 

Q. If I don’t win one of the tickets for the first 100 swims, when can I book a swim?

A. We plan to open the pools in summer this year, in the meantime if you would like to join our mailing list we will keep you updated with the latest news, events and info. Sign up here.

How does Crowdfunding work?

Q. Can I donate anonymously?

A. Yes, donations can be made anonymously or named – your choice!

Q. Will Cleveland Pools receive my full donation?

A. Crowdfunder takes a small transaction fee, see details here.

Q. Can I gift aid my donation?

A. Yes (please)! Gift aid makes a big difference to fund raising efforts, so please consider adding gift aid when making your donation. 

By making a Gift Aid declaration you will allow Cleveland Pools Trust to claim tax back on your eligible donations. It means that, at no extra cost to you, for every £1 you donate to Cleveland Pools Trust we can claim back an extra 25p.

Q. Will there be a membership scheme at the Pools?

A. The Pools is a community pool and we hope to offer affordable access to all. Our ticketing structure is not yet confirmed but it's likely there will be season tickets available to buy at a discounted price. 

A bit more about Cleveland Pools

Q. Is Cleveland Pools a registered charity?

A. Yes, charity no.1109433.

Personal Information

We will only use this information for the purposes of this Crowdfunder campaign and the first swim draw. You can also find out more about our privacy policy here.

If you have more questions about winning a first swim, please refer to the terms and conditions. 

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