PICTURES: Clevedon Marine Lake releases Eco-pod design plan
- Credit: MARLENS
Designs for Clevedon's Marine Lake's plan to install facilities for its disabled visitors after a £60,000 cash injection from North Somerset Council have been revealed.
The Marine Lake Enthusiasts Society (MARLENS) charity which maintains the lake has a £90,000 budget to build an Eco-pod, which comes equipped with a disabled changing room and toilet.
The group's chair told the Times that it had asked more than 3,000 Facebook group members how to invest the money and was tasked with improving access while keeping the lake natural.
Rowan Clarke said: "When MARLENS was set up to renovate the lake, it was part of our constitution to keep the lake as wild and natural as possible.
"When we worked on the bid of the Eco-pods, we surveyed the 3,500 Clevedon lake and sea swimmers' Facebook group who overwhelmingly told us that they wanted the lake to stay as 'facility free as possible.'
"We are committed to widening participation and keeping the lake as clean and safe as possible, but we are not going to be turning it into a lido."
The additions will also feature storage improvements for both a disabled hoist and for the kit used to keep the lake tidy, as well as a multifunctional community classroom to teach water safety.
Ms Clarke added: "In 2020, we saw a huge rise in lake users when lockdown closed swimming pools.
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"Those numbers have remained high this year -- I think because being outdoors and exercising in the fresh air is so important to people's wellbeing.
"I have been coaching swimming at the lake for three years now, and this has certainly been my busiest year."
Trustee Hilary Jenkins-Spangler designed the plans for the facilities and told the Times she hopes to see it become a hub for Clevedon.
She said: "The Eco-pod will be on the terrace area, near the steps up to Poet’s Walk, it is a difficult space but I will enjoy the challenge.
"It will be really nice to have a community hub that widens participation for those who could not access the lake before.
"Thanks again to North Somerset Council for its funding to make this possible."
A date has not yet been given for the project, but when building begins it is expected to take six months to complete.