More than £500,000 is to be spent replacing the popular paddling pool on 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 this summer 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, as well as interactive sections which could potentially be kept open all year around.

There were further requests for toilets, changing rooms and refreshment facilities.

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.

The authority has now put forward initial plans using Section 106 money, which is provided by housing developers to benefit local communities. A significant proportion of this has been secured from recent student developments on the edge of The Meadows. Grants have also been received following successful bids by the council to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

If approved, an amount of £543,971 has been allocated for the paddling pool and an additional £250,000 earmarked for the second phase of the toilets, changing rooms and refreshment unit.

These 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.

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We were really sorry we had to close the Victoria Embankment paddling pool last year 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 is from the 1980s. This has made maintaining the facility extremely challenging, both in a practical and financial sense. Parts were increasingly difficult to source and often very expensive.

“However, during the summer months this year the value of an outdoor water-based park has been clearly demonstrated, particularly during the long periods of dry and extreme hot weather.

“This has also been further underlined by the cost-of-living crisis as families have stayed at home during the summer holidays – many would have visited the paddling pool if it was not closed. It was clear that the public wanted us to replace this facility and so we’ve made it a priority for the council.

“A modern facility is likely to draw people from a wider area than just the Meadows, given that there are no other similar facilities in the city. We know how important this is to the people of Nottingham and we look forward to sharing more detailed plans in the coming months.”