MORE than 160 people gathered to share ideas on how to secure the future of Ilkley Pool and Lido in the face of proposed council cuts.

Bradford Council needs to slash £40m from its budget over the next three years and is currently undertaking a review of its leisure services, including Ilkley Pool and Lido.

With the future of the pool and lido potentially under threat, The Ilkley Pool and Lido Community Benefit Society (CBS) is developing proposals to secure the long term future of the site and facilities, possibly through community ownership of the pool, lido and grounds.

The meeting at Ilkley Rugby Club on Friday was attended by residents and members of sports and town organisations.

Ilkley Pool and Lido CBS founder Becky Malby said: “Bradford Council has announced that it will need to find £1.25m, from its Leisure and Sports facilities, which is a quarter of its total budget of £5m.

“This is a devastating sum of money to find and there are six months to come up with solutions.”

She said the group is developing two sets of propositions, one where the community works in closer partnership with Bradford Council to generate significantly more income and put in cost saving measures against high spend areas such as energy costs.

Becky said: “The other proposition is that the Ilkley Community takes ownership of the whole site so that we can be more agile in generating solutions that benefit the whole community.

“At the meeting people shared their love of the Pool and Lido, recounting examples of the benefit to them personally, to children growing up in Ilkley and to the wider economy of the town.

“The enthusiasm of the community to step up to the challenge of ensuring the Pool and Lido together remain open and become a thriving sports hub all year round won support from everyone there.”

Ilkley Gazette: The packed meeting at Ilkley Rugby ClubThe packed meeting at Ilkley Rugby Club (Image: submitted)

Also in the group is Di Lury of Ilkley Clean River Group, who said: “It was fantastic to see the level of energy and creativity in the room and heartening that 140 people have already signed up to the group showing that our community are enthusiastic about developing plans to secure the long term future for Ilkley Lido and Pool.”

Joanne Bown of Ilkley Swimming Club added: “The passion in the room was incredible, Ilkley’s Pool and Lido clearly has an important place in a lot of lives within the community. Not many towns can provide a place to swim both outside and inside, so let’s keep this special place open.”

In March Bradford Council will be sharing the finances and usage of the Pool and Lido and the community will be coming back together to review their options.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “The review into sports facilities has just begun and no decisions have been taken. We welcome all community involvement in the consultation process and thank the Ilkley Pool and Lido Community Benefit Society (CBS) for their active interest.

“The review of Sports Facilities, as proposed in the Council’s budget proposals for 2024/5, is to achieve savings of £60,000 in 2024/25 rising to £1,250,000 in 2025/6.

“No one wants to propose cuts like this but because of the escalating costs of Children’s and Adults Social Care without the matching government funding, many councils up and down the country are having to contemplate very difficult decisions.”

You can contact the Ilkley group at and sign up for updates at