Jubilee Pool Penzance

Jubilee Pool Penzance is a Community Benefit Society that operates Jubilee Pool, one of the last remaining salt-water lidos in Europe and best example of a post-war lido in the world. Opened in 1935, it is a beautiful Art Deco outdoor pool positioned along the Penzance coastline looking out to the Cornish seas.

JPP is widely considered to be the best example of a pre-war lido in the world. It’s a remarkable facility providing safe seawater bathing for all ages; a unique modernist building of international architectural importance; a tourist attraction in its own right; and now, it’s set to provide a catalyst for the future economic regeneration of Penzance.

The share offer provided the final piece in the funding jigsaw. The project is to drill a geothermal well to allow the Pool to be enjoyed by everyone, all year-round, making it a sustainable community business.

In 2014, the lido suffered terrible structural damage due to disastrous storms and under-funding leaving it dilapidated and run down. A group of local people formed Jubilee Pool Penzance and raised funding and support to restore it and in 2016, it reopened as the ‘jewel in Penzance’s crown’ once again.Since being established as a Community Benefit Society in 2017, Jubilee Pool Penzance’s priority has been to improve the sustainability of the pool, so they decided to make the pool usable all year round by drilling a 400-metre-deep geothermal well to heat a section of the pool to 35 degrees. It now has a new café and community space to generate income for the pool.

In 2014 after the worst of the storms put the pool out of action, Jubilee Pool Penzance started a campaign to ensure adequate repairs be made and persuaded local stakeholders and the wider community alongside Cornwall Council and other local councillors to support them. Through the Coastal Communities Fund, alongside match funding from various partners, they raised a total of £2.94 million enabling the complete refurbishment of Jubilee Pool. They applied to the Community Shares Booster Programme to raise money from their local community and received a match-fund of £100,000.

The Booster Panel were inspired by the application, but before awarding investment the project received additional Booster support from a Locality Development Officer who visited the site and worked with the Jubilee Pool Penzance team on the businesses forecasts and expenditure plans.

The share offer went on to be a huge success, with investments from as little as £20, raising £538,680 from over 1,380 community investors and £100,000 from the Booster. By the time the share offer closed in October 2018 it had also received equity investment from Big Society Capital.

Case study from Power to Change

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Why did Booster support this business?

  • Strong public support for the project, which is sited in a deprived location with a dual speed economy from the tourist seasonal influx.
  • Lots of plans for community benefit activities to support physical and mental health, in a highly deprived part of the country, facilitated by year round access to swimming facilities and associated community activities.
  • The share offer enabled local people to be an owner of this community business by reducing the minimum individual investment to £20 (from £50) for those with a Cornwall postcode.
  • Geothermal heating for a lido is clearly innovative, alongside efforts to promote both high-end spa facilities aimed at tourists and health projects aimed at locals.
  • Community investors benefit from tax relief.