Photo Credit City of Bath WHS

Cleveland Pools Restoration Project in City of Bath WHS – a case study

March 23, 2022 Published by World Heritage UK


The team at the Cleveland Pools restoration project in Bath World Heritage Site are not only increasingly aware of the potential impact of climate change on our site (in our case flood risk) but are also making positive moves to try to mitigate the environmental impact of running a lido.

The flooding on site in recent¬†years is a product of both groundwater saturation and the immediately adjacent River Avon flooding. In developing our plans for the current restoration project the Cleveland Pools Trust consulted with the Environment Agency and agreed the most realistic option was to allow the site to flood, rather than installing any particular defences, and instead design with this in mind. We have therefore developed the plans for the site taking this into account, locating our plantroom as far up-slope from the riverside as possible, alongside running all services at high level such that there is limited disruption or damage after a flood. All finishes are designed to withstand pressure washing such that a quick ‘clean up operation’ can be undertaken after a flood, and the site can be reopened quickly.

Typically lidos are heated using gas boilers, but the project wanted to find another more sustainable option. We have therefore developed plans, and received specific funding, for the installation of a Water Source Heat Pump which will take energy from the adjacent river to heat the pool water. We have been lucky not only to have support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund but also the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund, which granted us just over £500k to fund the heat pump.