Travel & Tourism

There are plans to turn an abandoned reservoir into a huge natural swimming pool

And just an hour from Manchester city centre...

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 27th May 2024

We all know Manchester is deprived of any sort of outdoor swimming opportunities – remember the calls to turn the old Central Retail Park into a lido?

Unfortunately for us, when it is sunny we’re just going to have to travel a little way for a dip.

But there might be a new outdoor swimming contender about to join the list, just an hour away from Manchester city centre.

Plans are in place to turn a disused reservoir just outside Bingley into a natural swimming pool, right in the heart of St.Ives regional park, The Hoot reports.

If it all goes ahead – and we’re praying that it will – the ambitious project will transform the Kettlewell Reservoir.


Yorkshire Swim Works will feature a large lake area for swimming, splashing, dipping and more as well as a six lane 50m pool for more serious swimming and classes.

The body of water used to supply water to Bingley residents, but several years after it was built in 1909 it developed leaks and was abandoned.

Plans to turn a disused reservoir into a natural swimming pool have been revealed. Credit: Yorkshire Swim Works
Plans to turn a disused reservoir into a natural swimming pool have been revealed. Credit: Yorkshire Swim Works

Now nature has taken over and a lot of people don’t even know it exists.

Yorkshire Swim Works are hoping to put the spot back on the map by turning it into a massive natural swimming pool.

The water-neutral development will allow nature to flourish in what is already a wildlife-rich location.


The natural pool will be just a 30 minute walk from Bingley, which itself is a short train ride from Leeds.

Speaking of the impact the plans could have on the local area, director of Yorkshire Swim Works Russell Bowman said: “It’s huge isn’t it. Ambitious is the word that I’ve heard a lot!

How the natural swimming pool an hour from Manchester could look

“The benefits of swimming and in particular outdoor swimming are now well proven. The boost it gives to mental and physical health and its ability to create social cohesion are documented and building something of this scale that sits so naturally in the environment is a project that deserves support.

“With a young family myself, seeing investment in the area, new opportunities for them and the potential economic boost of tourists coming to the area fills me with excitement.

“I believe that YSW can be (we’re all using this word sorry!) a catalyst for the next stage in Bingley’s evolution and an incredible boost to the St Ives Estate that has struggled in recent times.”


You can take part in a survey about the plans for Kettlewell Reservoir here.

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Featured image: Yorkshire Swim Works