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Hodder's Cumbria pool faces wrecking ball as no new owner comes forward

The future of Hodder Associates' Berners Pool in Cumbria has been cast into serious doubt after the council admitted there have been no suitable bids to take over the building.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), which took over the site after the previous owner went into receivership, has revealed that after two unsuccessful tenders, there is no way it can reopen the pool after it closed indefinitely nearly six months ago (Search launched to find new owner for Hodder's Berners pool).

It now looks increasingly likely that the pool, which cost more than £3 million pounds to build and was finished only four years ago, will be earmarked for demolition. The council stated that it intended to incorporate the Berners Pool site into the wider Grange Regeneration Study.

In a statement, the council said: 'SLDC has neither the funds nor the resources to manage and reopen Berners, but as site owner, we have a responsibility to work with the community to identify a long-term, viable solution, which will benefit the Grange community.

'The cabinet has agreed that neither of the two bids had sufficient information to enable them to proceed to a 'stage one' tender evaluation based on affordability.

'Instead, a decision was taken to consider the future of the Berners site as part of the wider Grange Regeneration Study being carried out by Doug Wheeler Associates.

'The regeneration study will identify future ideas for the regeneration of Grange by working with the steering group and the public, to look at how the Berners site could fit and be incorporated into future regeneration plans.'

It is the second swimming pool designed by Stirling Prize-winner Stephen Hodder to hit trouble. Clissold Pool in Hackney, east London, was also forced to close, although it now looks likely the pool will reopen early next year.

At the time of writing, Hodder Associates was unavailable for comment.

by Richard Vaughan

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