A £1.96M SCHEME to make Grange Lido “stable, safe and accessible” has been given the thumbs up.

The planning committee of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) approved a ‘light-touch’ refurbishment which will see the currently derelict Grade II-listed site reopened to the public for the first time in more than 25 years.

Cllr Jonathan Brook, deputy leader of SLDC, said: “Urgent action was needed to save this important community asset before it deteriorated further and repair costs became exorbitant.

“We are delighted work can start and our vision of bringing the site back into public use can begin to be realised with the option of bringing the pool back into use some time in the future still open.

“The lido is much loved by many in our community and further afield, as well as being a valuable part of our cultural heritage. This considerable capital commitment from SLDC will safeguard the lido for future generations.”

An SLDC spokesman said an estimated £1.3m was needed to stabilise the structures of the pool. He said around £700,000 was required to refurbish the buildings and reopen the site to the public with access provided for those who were less mobile.

An “appropriate infill” will also be added to the pool which the spokesman said would not necessarily prevent its future use for swimming.

The project will work in tandem with another SLDC scheme - funded by £1m from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund - to improve Grange Promenade. These improvements will include a new children’s play area and “upgraded digital and electrical services to the promenade”.

Earlier this month, campaign group Save Grange Lido announced it was readying plans for the site - which include a heated pool - for submission to SLDC. The council’s position is that certain conditions need to be met before it would consider running the site as a pool, such as costs for additional work being raised externally.