Years of hard work by a group of volunteers has potentially gone to “waste”, as Abergavenny Lido Group has once again “hit a brick wall” with Monmouthshire County Council.  

In November 2023, The Chronicle reported on Abergavenny Lido Group’s issues with the local council and their reticence in supplying a “Letter of Comfort”, which would have allowed them to proceed with business plans and fundraising.

According to volunteers, MCC were initially very supportive of the project that would see the return of an open-air swimming pool to Abergavenny’s Bailey Park, making the town the second in Wales to house such a facility. 

Chair of the Committee, George Foster highlighted the advantages of a lido, saying: “An Abergavenny facility would tap into the growing demand for outdoor swimming, which is great exercise for people of all ages. It can help people get or stay in shape, and the benefits also extend to mental health.   

“In addition, the Lido would provide a further attraction for tourists and people visiting the Abergavenny Food and Cycling Festivals.”

The group has worked tirelessly to meet the requirements needed to make their dream a reality however, it has now come to an impasse, as the letter which should have been a step towards the right direction has only highlighted obstacles.  

“The so-called ‘Letter of Comfort’ MCC eventually supplied, gave us targets that we would never meet,” Mr Foster said.

“They have become fixated on the draft income projections that showed a potential shortfall in a day to day running, which while posing a challenge, is not totally insurmountable.” 

“For example, ongoing annual income by other means would be needed to support the pool, so we would not have to rely on volunteers to staff it,” he continued. 

“We were completely open about this, and it was always our aim to look further into the costs and see where we could improve what were simply initial projections – based on initial available data. It was certainly something that would need to be addressed before progressing.  

“But a full business plan would have been required after the council had agreed to gift the land. They cannot seem to get their heads round the shortfall – even though we have acknowledged it needs to be addressed – and so have put up hurdles in our way because they think it will be a 'white elephant' in years to come and they will be left with a hole in the ground!” 

Although enthusiasm for the project from locals has not died down, Mr Foster admitted that the group have grown “tired of the constant hurdles” MCC have put in their way. 

“It’s disheartening and frustrating,” he said “we are looking for fresh blood to get involved. The majority of us have been working on this for over seven years. We need to look at this from a different angle. We want people with new ideas or perhaps a planning background to come in and give it a new lease of life.  

“The Feasibility Study proves that this project is possible and would be a huge asset to the community. All we need is the land to do it! A lot of time, money and effort have gone into this by a group of enthusiastic amateurs. We want to keep fighting for this.” 

The Chronicle has asked MCC for a comment. If you would like to show your support for the cause or get involved in any way either as a general volunteer or with specific business skills, head to

Contact committee members at [email protected]