Images have gone on show to the public today (Friday) of plans for a new paddling pool on the Victoria Embankment.
The much-loved facility, owned by Nottingham City Council and which dates back to the 1940s, was closed in the summer of 2021 after on-going problems with leaks and other issues. A public consultation was held last year so people could give their views on what they would like to see in its place.
More than 2,100 residents took part and there was a positive response to a replacement water-play facility, incorporating traditional paddling pool and splash park elements.
This helped to shape the plans being revealed today which show the design is sympathetic to its heritage by using the existing footprint and providing contrast paving to celebrate the original line of the paddling pool. The current fence will also remain for security and safety around the facility.
The £750,000 funding secured for the scheme is made up of Section 106 contributions from property developers, a Government Levelling Up grant and a successful National Lottery Heritage Fund application.
Residents now have the opportunity to view and comment on the proposals until 1 October. These responses will be collated and used in a council report to help inform the final decision.
Councillor Corall Jenkins, Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment, Waste Services and Parks at Nottingham City Council, said: “We were really sorry that the Victoria Embankment paddling pool had to close in 2021 when sadly it had reached the end of its natural life.
“The original pool dates back more than 70 years to the 1940s, while the current plant equipment was from the 1980s. This made maintaining the facility extremely challenging, both in a practical and financial sense. Parts were increasingly difficult to source and often very expensive.
“Understanding the level of public support for a new facility and wider need within the city, the council made this a priority and began to explore avenues for how the funding could be raised externally.
“This need was further underlined by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis as families have stayed at home more during the summer holidays – many would have visited the paddling pool if it was not closed.
“We’re really pleased to have been successful in applying for funding through a variety of sources to move ahead with the project and are excited to now be able to share our plans with the public. We hope people will take the time to view the architects’ designs and let us know what they think.
“A modern facility is likely to draw people from a wider area than just the Meadows, given people across the city loved the paddling pool so much. We know how important this is to the people of Nottingham.”
The new facilities will complement wider improvements the City Council has carried out at Victoria Embankment, including the restoration of the Memorial Gardens through funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund along with match-funding from The Transforming Cities Fund, The War Memorials Trust and the City Council.
Victoria Embankment has also benefited in recent years from removing through-traffic to improve the park environment for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the new World War One Memorial, a new cricket pavilion and a popular cycling track for children.
The paddling pool images and consultation form is available here.