To be honest, at one point – rather depressingly – I didn’t think The Thames Baths lido was going to hit its Kickstarter target. Then came a turn around and with four days to go it smashed through the £125K mark (I like to think with a little bit of help from Goggleblog which pledged £50 to support the funding of the baths).
I think maybe inadvertently The Thames Baths Project was helped by all the coverage around the Kings Cross Pond Club – a similar-ish project which uses natural filtration to clean the water rather than all the yucky chemicals found in indoor pools which I’m sure contribute to lung conditions like asthma. On Sunday, The Thames Baths Project was also included in a list produced by The Telegraph for “26 ways to make London a better place”: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/11606616/26-ways-to-make-London-a-better-place.html
In a statement from Studio Octopi, the architects behind the project, wrote:
“We are sure you’ve all seen a grown man cry, but when Chris (Romer-Lee) cries it is something to behold. If we had captured his tears we would have had enough water to fill not one lido but two or maybe three. Fortunately they are tears of happiness, not sadness.
“It has been quite some turnaround and we’ve got you all to thank. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough, but this “thank you” is supported by the promise and the desire to make this happen for all of us that are involved. We’ve had great news over the last few days and now we are fully funded we can see even more just around the corner.”
But of course this is just the start of the fund raising. There is still a long way to go. The reality is that the cost of building the floating pool on The Thames is likely to be around £10million – significantly less than the £175 million required for The Garden Bridge, but still a lot of money.
What the Kickstarter campaign has done has shown there is a real appetite for this to happen. But that’s not the end of the fund raising, it’s just the beginning. Time for the hard work to begin to make this dream become a reality.
You can see some of the new designs for The Thames Baths below – including how the floating pool could look in various locations on The Thames