Monmouthshire County Council has responded to Abergavenny Lido Group’s claims that they are “dragging their feet”, regarding a project that has been seven years in the making.  

Earlier this month, The Chronicle reported on Abergavenny Lido’s difficulties with the local council.  

According to volunteers, although MCC was initially supportive of the project that would see the return of an open-air swimming pool; the council has been ‘throwing constant hurdles’ in path of the campaign – making it unlikely that their dream will ever become a reality.  

MCC has hit back at these comments saying it has supplied a ‘letter of comfort’, which should be the next crucial step with the project. 

A spokesperson from MCC said: “The council is keen to support the ambitious plans to reintroduce an outdoor swimming facility to Bailey Park in Abergavenny.  

“We have recently provided the Lido Association with a letter of comfort sufficient to allow them to develop their plans further and secure the necessary funding and support to make this a reality.  

“The association will need to now produce a sustainable business plan and submit this in line with the council’s recently updated Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy. It is worth highlighting that the process and steps that the Lido Association have been asked to take are consistent with all CATs and where we consider any transfer of land or building.” 

Despite this, the Lido Group has argued that the contents of the letter have only added to their problems – as MCC has made ‘insurmountable demands’ that will be difficult for the purely volunteer force to overcome.  

This has only fuelled frustration amongst members, who have grown disheartened by the lack of positive news.  

A spokesperson for Abergavenny Lido Group said: “I think the main thing is that it’s a vicious circle, we can’t come up with a business plan that’s acceptable to the council because they don’t want any impact on the Leisure Centre.  

“Equally we can’t attract further investment while the council’s position is as it is currently. This is aside from the issue of full planning being required. 

“Planning shouldn't be a big issue as the current design was following conversations with the planning authority.”   

Indeed, an in-depth Feasibility Study that was carried out over a year ago has proven that the project is possible and would be a huge asset to the community; providing residents with a new way to stay mentally and physically fit, and the town with a new tourist attraction – as it would be only the second in Wales to house such a facility.  

 Despite the benefits that the outdoor Lido could potentially bring to the town, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for members.  

 The group went on to add: “The big question is will MCC confirm that if there is a viable business plan then they will grant the transfer (viable may include volunteers and sponsors.) 

“With this in acknowledgement, even if we’ve got a perfect business plan, they still may not agree the transfer on the basis that we’ll be in competition with the Leisure Centre.” 

George Foster of Abergavenny Lido Group is now calling for “a fresh take”, in the hope of injecting a new lease of life into the project.  

“We need to look at this from a different angle. We want people with new ideas or perhaps a planning background to come in... A lot of time, money and effort have gone into this by a group of enthusiastic amateurs. We want to keep fighting this.”  

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