SOME weeks ago Barrie Evans and a small team of supporters launched a campaign to rebuild Cold Knap Lido.
The response to the ‘Rebuild Knap Lido Group’ has been phenomenal. To their credit, they have researched the plan, compared grants given to different areas and even sought funding contributions from independent sources.
This is just the sort of community action that Barry needs.
Barrie Evans and I met a couple of weeks ago and his enthusiasm was catching. Our chat reminded me of my school trips to the Knap and of the magnet it was in attracting people to the town. This enthusiasm has already led to more than 7,000 supporters on Facebook – in just two weeks.
There are obviously challenges ahead, as Barrie recognised; but when we consider the amount of funding that goes to other parts of Wales for similar projects and the potential gains from such an initiative. We need to do all possible to deliver this project.
Pontypridd has received over £6m of funding to reopen their lido. We can do the same.
Similarly, the council in Swansea said that their leisure centre should close. This kick started a public campaign for it to be refurbished. When the then council cabinet dismissed the calls, they lost the election. It was shortly reopened by the new councillors that were elected.
Therefore, the current administration in the Vale have plenty of time before their election to make solid progress on reopening the Knap Lido.
Pride in Barry has shown that the town has received only a fraction of the funds that were released when the Welsh Government sold the land at the waterfront. We have been campaigning ever since for a fair settlement. This can also be added to the £25m shortfall we receive from Cardiff Bay year in year out, compared with neighbouring councils.
The funding case is compelling.
This campaign in support of the lido can provide everyone with the necessary focus. I will do all I can to bring pressure to bear on the local authority and the Welsh government to make the funding available.
Full credit to Barrie Evans and his team. This is the kind of vision Barry needs.