Victoria Embankment paddling pool to be brought back to life after controversial closure

Victoria Embankment Paddling Pool (credit Nottingham City Council)
By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

Nottingham’s popular Victoria Embankment paddling pool is set to be replaced.

Nottingham City Council says £500,000 will be used to bring the paddling pool back to life – after the authority closed it due to leaks in 2021 and later said it did not have the cash to repair and reopen it.

A brand new paddling pool, splash pad and new pumping system is planned for the site, which has served generations of families since the 1940s.

The council says the current paddling pool can no longer be repaired or restored, so a new design will be drawn up.

It comes after a public consultation this summer “confirmed overwhelming support for a replacement paddling pool facility”.

Cllr Kevin Clarke (Ind), who has long called for the paddling pool to be brought back into use, said it was “fantastic” news.

He said: “I’m very pleased to hear that something is going to be done.

“The council has been under a lot of pressure from us to do something.

“When I was a kid we used to play down there on a Sunday and we’d take a picnic along with us. It brings back a lot of memories for me.”

A total of £543,971 will be spent on the project, with the majority of the funding from Section 106 money – funding used to mitigate against impacts of new local developments.

The rest of the money will come from the Government Levelling Up Parks fund, meaning the council is not using money from its own funds. 

Council documents stated: “The paddling pool has for many years been in need of investment and in recent years the facility has had to be closed due to failure in the pumping system and pool infrastructure. The public response clearly identified support / demand for its improvement and reopening.

“During the summer months the value of an outdoor water based facility has been clearly demonstrated particularly during the long periods of dry and extreme hot weather.

“This has also been exaggerated by the cost of living crises as many families have stayed at home during the summer holidays and many would have visited the paddling pool if it was not closed.”

People also said they were keen to see toilets, changing facilities and children’s water play facilities added to the existing pool.

These would come under a second phase of works, with the council planning to bid for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund (NLHF).

“The bid to the NLHF is currently being produced and it is hoped that the bid will be submitted as soon as possible and hopefully will be approved within ten weeks of submitting”, council documents said.

Funding will also be used to carry out improvements at Queens Walk recreation ground play area, the delivery of the Bulwell Forest Covid Tree Memorial project and the final contribution towards Victoria Embankment Memorial Garden Restoration Project.

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