The historic Grange Lido will begin to be restored to its former glory after a raft of renovations were agreed.

South Lakeland District Council's cabinet has agreed to move forward with work to renovate the main pavilion and diving board structure and fill in a pool and nearby terracing.

The proposal, which now excludes a central water feature, has brought the price down to £5.2 million.

That includes contingency plans and fees and will make the facility feasible for a group to take it on and return it to a swimming facility.

The council has also agreed to structural repairs to the sea defence wall being completed, infrastructure for future street lighting to be installed and the promenade to be done up as part of the overall cost.

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, the council's finance and resources portfolio holder, had a measured response to the costs involved.

He said: "It is still going to cost us, even though we have had to trim some of our aspirations, including much more limited work on the changing rooms and the exclusion of the central water feature, which still leaves us with a gap of nearly £900,000 to fund.

"But in the end I feel we have a choice and we could essentially back out of the work on the lido and it wouldn’t put external funding at risk on the longer-term stability of the site.

"That would put us back to square one and waste the considerable efforts and heartache that have been put into this project over some considerable years.

"Alternatively, we need to accept that this is the right thing to do, even if the cost is more than we initially anticipated.

"As the financial portfolio holder, you will understand when I say I don’t like unexpected financial deficit gaps and a £900,000 gap is very significant and it can’t be shrugged off lightly.

"However, we are in a position to afford this additional expense as we do have some reserves that we can call on."

The Save Grange Lido chair, Janet Carter, welcomed the news that the funding for phase one of the project had been agreed by the council’s cabinet.

She said: “It’s the first step on the journey towards a fully-restored Lido, which will bring significant economic, cultural, health and wellbeing benefits to South Lakeland and beyond.

"The news last week of planning approvals for two new lidos in England – in Brighton and in Hull – demonstrates an ever-growing interest in outdoor swimming and the confidence of the councils in those areas of the community for the economic benefits of such exciting projects.

"We are certain that a restored Grange Lido will be a great success.

"We look forward to working with SLDC to make it happen.”

Councillors agreed to: approve the scheme in order to move forward with a contract award to the preferred bidder; delegate authority to the director for customer and commercial services to set up an appropriate building contract; approve the appointment of the IBI Group as sub consultants; approve the design changes to fit the planning permission; and request council to approve amendment of the capital programme to include the full value of the capital works.

The full Breakdown of the figures have also been revealed.

Grange Promenade £1,097,000
Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) Bid for Grange Promenade £1,100,000
Grange Lido £1,960,000
Grange Re-generation £157,000
Total £4,314,000
With an additional £867,047 to complete works ……

A spokesperson for the district council said: "The work at the derelict SLDC owned lido, will preserve it for the benefit of the community and see it reopen to the public again after more than 25 years, creating a new multi-use public space for the local community and visitors."

Its hoped that the multi-million pound project will also encourage greater tourism to the Grange area and wider Morecambe Bay.