NEW hoardings around Otley's former lido have been vandalised just weeks after being installed.

The Friends of Otley Lido held a grand unveiling ceremony to show off the specially decorated boards, bearing messages in support of its campaign, in October.

Vandals targeted the Wharfemeadows Park site last Thursday, November 3, when they covered the hoardings with obscene graffiti.

The incident shocked the Friends who are working hard to produce a business plan to get a new lido up and running.

But volunteers were out in force over the weekend to clear up the mess - and group Chairman Leonie Sharp is determined not to be distracted by the incident.

She said: "I would like to give a huge shout out to the Friends of Otley Lido volunteers who came to put the hoarding right on Saturday morning and get rid of the obscene vandalism that was done on Thursday evening.

"We really need to focus on making out project to restore the site happen, and do not need to be distracted by vandalism."

The Friends entered into a 12 month exclusivity agreement with landowners Leeds City Council in January to allow them time to produce detailed proposals for opening a new outdoor pool.

The full project is expected to cost several million pounds but its next stage will involve commissioning a professional feasibility study - and the group is hoping to pay for that through an Aviva Community Fund award.

It is currently in the running to win up to £25,000 through the scheme, but needs as many of the members of the public as possible to vote for it before the Friday, November 18 deadline.

Each registered voter can cast up to ten votes and the Friends will be holding a special event in Otley town centre this week to rally support.

Giving an update on the campaign's Facebook page, Leonie said: "We are so close to second place - we got into second but then got overtaken by a gymnastic group that has the advantage of having thousands of young followers on social media.

"But we have our community in Otley and nearby and need your help.

"We will be at the Buttercross this Friday, November 11 complete with electronic means to vote for those who don't have access to the Internet or who don't know how.

"Please encourage your friends, family and neighbours to continue to support us and also come down to the Buttercross from 10am to 2pm."

People can vote for the lido scheme by visiting , where they can vote after registering.

More details about the campaign, meanwhile, can be found at, on its Facebook page or by sending an e-mail to .