An ambitious proposal to create a lido in Cork City will involve a trawl of potential suitable sites over an area stretching from the bridge at the Anglers Rest Bar and Restaurant in Carrigrohane to Blackrock village.
Paul Collins, director of Malachy Walsh and Partners (MWP), said that both sides of the river will be considered for the 50m outdoor pool, as well as a number of inland sites, including Tramore Valley Park.
The firm has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study on the prospect of a lido for Cork at a time when leading cities around the world — including London, Paris, and Manhattan in New York — are also striving to open their rivers to swimmers.
Mr Collins, who is project director, said the survey will involve physical visits to potential sites, and not just a desktop exercise:
He expects the survey to take 10-12 weeks once Cork City Council gives the go-ahead. The council has already agreed to be lead sponsor of the study and a workshop is due to take place between city officials, MWP and the group spearheading the lido campaign, Lido Cork (@LidoCork).
Mr Collins said the site in question does “not necessarily” need to be adjacent to the river.
Niall Kenny, an open water marathon swimmer and a member of the committee of seven driving the Lido Cork campaign, said their vision is for a resource that will help create a community in the city, bringing people together for outdoor leisure activities.
The Lido Cork campaign has the backing of Swim Ireland whose director of operations, Mary McMorrow, said they are “very supportive of the campaign for a lido in Cork City”, “particularly in light of the importance of outdoor recreational spaces in the current public health landscape.” She said a lido would “enhance the economic potential of the unique maritime city that is Cork”.
Mr Collins said the prospect of a lido for the city was “very exciting and a great idea for Cork”.
While the council is helping fund the feasibility study, it was not prepared to comment, other than to confirm a meeting is due to take place shortly to discuss the project.
“It’s too early to make any further comment,” a spokesperson said.