A community swimming dream
We would love to create a unique outdoor swimming experience for our community - somewhere in the Bradford or Calderdale district that repurposes our Yorkshire industrial heritage and region, somewhere distinct and magical.
We had a superb site but as some of you may know who donated in July, we were outbid at auction.
We can't thank you enough for your support last time, it was an incredible effort and we came so close. Sadly, the site was bought at the auction by a private buyer who intends to build 2 large houses for his family.
You can read the full story here
We took the Summer off, spent time with our families, licked our wounds and gave a lot of thought to what happens next. We listened to our community who really want this dream to happen.
We clearly need to find a new (and equally amazing) site, and we think we can do this, with your help.
A bit of background
Everything achieved so far has been on a voluntary basis. A £4,500 grant from Bradford Council allowed a group of experts to undertake a substantial body of research that explored the social and economic opportunity for Yorkshire Swim Works, and included more than the equivalent amount of pro-bono support.
In less than 3 years we’ve built an incredible network of supporters, identified key potential partners and grant-funders, worked closely with Bradford Council, explored entity options, and developed the beginnings of a commercial strategy.
Our current working group of two volunteers work full-time. We would love to continue to dedicate our passion and skills to Yorkshire Swim Works, but we can no longer do this on an entirely voluntary basis.
We’re asking for donations to keep the community dream alive
Ideally, we’d like to raise £7,200 to cover most of the time we anticipate it would take to get the ball rolling, to start the work, and begin to apply for other grants to support.
If this resonates with you, and if you're able to donate, that would be amazing!
We feel a tad awkward asking, but at the same time we think it's a crucial catalyst to delivering what could be amazing for our area.
It is really important to us to let you all know that we will not stop volunteering as much time as we possibly can, borrowing favours and pro-bono support wherever we can to keep the dream alive.
Your money & support will enable us to:
1. Develop a clear set of wants, needs and constraints for the site to ensure that it is viable as a business and stays true to the vision of a community swimming pool - this will involve community engagement
2. On-board and co-ordinating additional volunteers to our working group - many of you have given time already, and a good handful of generous folk have come forward to volunteer time and skills
3. Discover and assess sites and provide basic analysis of the viability of each site. We'll consider cost, location, access, design, planning - amongst other key criteria. This is a really fun part, and we need to do this thoroughly. Hopefully we’ll identify a site sooner rather than later.
4. Build a light-touch flexible business plan that can be amended depending on the site and ensure all sites are viable as businesses as well as being priced accordingly for the community.
5. Develop the entity to maximise from potential grants and to ensure community ownership of the site (we intend to become a Community Benefit Society)
6. Apply for grants - these take time and specialist skills but will help support the efforts over the coming months (and probably years)
7. Continue building upon our extensive support network, and wider stakeholder engagement
- Future Lidos
- Alistair Brownlee, Olympic triathlete
- British Triathlon
- Swim England
- Bradford Council
- Calderdale Council
- West Yorkshire Combined Authorities
- Robbie Moore MP
- Benjamin Myers, Author
- Oxenhope Parish Council
8. Continue to engage and build upon our community of potential users. We’ll do this via website updates, email newsletters, socials, and keeping our favourite journalist from The Guardian, BBC and Yorkshire Post interested.
9. Maintain relationships with existing interested investors and search for new
10. Cover small costs associated with all of the above - Crowdfunder fees, travel expenses to view sites, website hosting and campaign email software, Companies House filing and accounts prep. Please rest assured if we don’t need to incur these costs, or members of the working group are happy to fund, we won’t spend your money to do this.
Ultimately, our goal is to find and buy a site for every to enjoy!
We will continue to volunteer as much of our time as we can - the money you donate will not be covering the total time and effort we expect and intend to put in over the coming months but we do need the support of the community to make this happen.
A transparent approach and concise timeline
Everything we do will be transparent and we will work to a structured plan to ensure any money donated is spent carefully.
Our initial plan is to have an open discussion once a week on Facebook, where we will pose a question and everybody can contribute ideas, their own questions and ask us about the project.
Our efforts throughout September, October, November and December will culminate in a shortlist of sites with real potential that we aim to launch in January.
Thank you everyone!
Who we are
A keen outdoor swimmer, Caroline Kindy is the founder and leader of the Yorkshire Swim Works. Her commercial and community experience stems back to when she set up Element Jewellery in Hebden Bridge in 2003. She nurtured this business through growth and 2 major flood events, and sold in 2020.
Currently working alongside dynamic business owners in West Yorkshire in the renewable energy and well-being sectors, she helps them to define objectives & achieve ambition by assisting with various aspects of strategic commercial development and implementation.
Caroline is part of the Steering Group for Future Lidos, and also delivered a substantial piece of research which explored the Opportunity for Yorkshire Swim Works, backed by Bradford Council.
Nick Stuart has extensive experience in the start-up world; launching and running multiple successful small businesses. With a background in economics and a specialism in marketing and strategy, Nick is the business sustainability specialist for the Future Lidos Group’s Pooling Resources project.
Focused on understanding the different operating and business models of successful lidos all over the country Nick is responsible for delivering insight into successful and inspiring practice from across the lido sector.
He moved to the area in 2020 and joined YSW as a pro bono consultant in January 2023 hoping to deliver an outdoor swimming pool his young daughter could enjoy.
About Yorkshire Swim Works
Yorkshire Swim Works is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.13687113.
Yorkshire Swim Works was conceived during a lockdown quest to find amazing + safe places to swim outdoors. The idea was shared with a group of expansive thinkers, and has grown into a project that goes beyond swimming, with enormous potential.
Yorkshire Swim Works is being developed by an enthusiastic and talented working group who have specialisms in commercial strategy development, community engagement, advocacy, communications and PR, heritage + culture, marketing + branding, the outdoor swimming + lido sector, landscape, architecture and design.
If you can’t donate, here are some ideas of things that you can do:
- Post and share this Crowdfunder page through your social networks
- Let your favourite inspiring celebrities know about our mission
- Can you think of anybody that you know that might be able to help in any way at all? Please, put them in touch with us
- If none of the above, tell a friend, just one, you never know where that might lead 🙂
- Please come forward and give your time to the project if you have any suitable expertise - from legals and governance, to comms and pr.
(Vision image credit: Planit - thank you for your amazing Pro Bono work on the project)