Nottingham City Council has secured funding to bring back paddling at Victoria Embankment with help from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Future generations of Nottingham children are soon to benefit from a newly designed scheme that will be a modern interpretation of the traditional water play previously enjoyed by many.  

The Paddling Pool, located next to the Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens that has also benefited from a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, has not been in use since before the pandemic. The original pool was built in 1928, with current plant equipment from the 1980s, and numerous repairs over recent years have been short-term due to the difficulty and expense of sourcing suitable parts and pressure on the council’s finances.

However the City Council recognises that the pool is an important part of Nottingham’s cultural heritage, with nearly 100 years of cherished memories of happy days spent playing in the water overlooking the River Trent. The council undertook extensive community engagement last year to understand the importance of the facility and is working hard to come up with a sustainable, creative and affordable design that will be enjoyed by many for years to come.

Funding is made up of so-called ‘Section 106’ contributions to the council from property developers and Government Levelling Up grant. This, combined with the successful National Lottery Heritage Fund application, has made up the £544,000 needed to reinstate the much-loved facility.

Contractors are being appointed and work is expected to start as early as this summer and will hopefully be completed in time for Easter 2024.

Cllr Corall Jenkins, Portfolio Holder for Energy, Environment, Waste Services & Parks, said: “This is great news for local residents who have really missed the paddling pool.

“Although the council is facing difficult financial decisions, we remain committed to creating a greener, healthier, happier Nottingham and wherever possible we will secure external funding like this to achieve that.  The paddling pool is a great way for families to get outside and enjoy all that Nottingham offers with good quality open and green space and recreational activities.”

Jeremy Fenn, Interim Head of Investment for National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to continue to support Nottingham City Council in their ambition to reinstate the paddling pool. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is thrilled that many more people will continue to enjoy this important part of Nottingham’s cultural heritage thanks to National Lottery players.”