These amazing people and organisations are helping to bring Yorkshire Swim Works to life for all the right reasons

  • to serve the community
  • to connect people with nature
  • to encourage participation in outdoor swimming
  • to offer a training and events venue for triathlon & sports
  • to boost the local economy and tourism
  • to preserve our cultural heritage
  • Photograph of Alistair Brownlee by kind permission from photographer Col Morley

    Alistair Brownlee MBE, Olympic Triathlete

    There is an incredible opportunity here to create a truly unique centre of outdoor activity and exercise in a beautiful part of the country. It is a chance to inspire the local community and beyond to spend more time in nature and more time exercising whilst preserving the connection to the site’s historic function. Good luck!

    We were lucky enough to interview Alistair and his answers were truly insightful.

    1. As a former Bingley Harrier you must know these hills around the proposed Yorkshire Swim Works like the back of your hand?
    I don’t know the area as well as I’d like. But, I know it well enough to know it can be a harsh and very beautiful environment. 
    2. What were the facilities like for triathlon when you were first getting interested in it? Too many swims in reservoirs or were you a pool only trainer?
    I’ve always done the majority of my training in pools. It’s a bit cold for me to swim 5km most days in Open water. In the summer I normally swim a couple of times a week in the sailing lake at Otley. Which, I love. 
    3. In lockdown and beyond we saw many people using reservoirs for swimming, do you think more should be done to make them accessible to swimmers?
    Yes, absolutely. I really believe the campaigns that have focused on safety in open water (Such as by the RLSS) have been crucial in this. People can, and should, enjoy our bodies of water, but in an educated and safe manner. 
    4. Swimming outdoors has really taken off over the last five years, are you a fan of the cold water or has competing around the world in warmer waters spoiled you?!
    I love swimming in wild spots whenever I can. But it’s impossible to get an effective training session in (for me!) if the temperature is colder than 15 degrees. 
    5. What impact do you think having a facility like Yorkshire Swim Works can have on the local area?
    A very positive one! The more facilities and opportunities people have to be active, the better. Different modalities of exercise suit different people at different times. 
    6. What excited you the most about the project when you first heard about it?
    Both, the re-use of an existing bit of infrastructure and the creation of a new facility for people to be active. 
    7. What makes a place or facility inspiring when training for triathlon?
    For me, it’s about being outside, surrounded by an amazing landscape but with a warm shower close by!
    8. Spending time in nature and near water has been shown to have such a positive impact on mental health, any words of encouragement for those thinking of giving outdoor swimming a go for the first time?
    Do it! But learn about how to make it safe first and go with someone who is a bit more experienced than you. 
    9. You’re an ambassador for Leeds Active Travel and have spent your life being about as active as any human. What challenges are you setting yourself for life after being a full time athlete?
    I’ll always be active and I’m looking forward to being active for fun. That will probably mean more open-water swimming, among other inspiring outdoor activities!
    Kersten England Chief Exec Bradford Council

    I’m delighted to support Yorkshire swim works. Wild swimming is one of the most exhilarating and restorative forms of physical activity. This facility would give people safe access to swimming in a wild beautiful moorland landscape in the heart of Brontë country. I can’t wait to get my toe in its waters.

    Kersten England
    Ben Myers - author of The Gallows Pole and Cuddy

    We have long-known the physical and mental benefits of swimming – humans have been doing it for thousands of years. Yet recent cuts have seen a diminishing number of pools in a time when they are needed more than ever. Yorkshire Swim Works is a simple idea, as old as the hills that surround it, yet somehow feels bold and entirely necessary. What better way to stay healthy, and commune with the beautiful and dramatic landscape, while also meeting like-minded people? I’ll see you there.

    Robbie Moore, Keighley MP

    Plans for new outdoor swimming destination in the beautiful surrounds of the Worth Valley continue to have my full support, and I believe that this proposed public swimming pool would serve as a fantastic cultural asset, attracting tourists and swimmers alike and providing a boost to our local economy.

    One of the most exciting aspects of Yorkshire Swim Works’ proposals is their plan to create clean, safe swimming water using the Victorian filtration basins already at the site. Not only do these proposals preserve the cultural heritage of the area and ensure a healthy swimming experience, they also create a STEM learning opportunity for visitors to understand the science behind this process.

    This project will have a positive impact on our community, providing a much-needed space for visitors to exercise, relax, and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings of the Worth Valley.

    I look forward to following the progress of this project and will continue to support funding requests at both a national and local level.

    Deborah Aydon, Director - Future Lidos Group

    Lidos are wonderfully inclusive, playful and joyous places where our communities can come together in all their glorious diversity. Yorkshire Swim Works will be a beautiful place for the combined communities of West Yorkshire to connect with nature, with this extraordinary landscape, and with each other.

    Katherine Bates, South Pennines Park

    The South Pennines Park supports Yorkshire Swim Works’ vision for an accessible, safe, natural outdoor swimming destination for everyone. Outdoor swimming is a fantastic way to connect to nature and experience the physical and psychological benefits of being outdoors, but we know that there are few safe and accessible places for people to go.

    Any development in this ecologically important location must be done sensitively, and Yorkshire Swim Works have shown they take this responsibility seriously. Clear steps are being taken to ensure the natural heritage and ecological potential of the site are preserved and enhanced. This responsible and respectful approach to the moorland location is vital to the success of the project and will ensure that the site works for people and for nature.

    The approach of putting nature, health and sustainability first chimes with our vales and we welcome the potential boost to the local economy. We look forward to seeing visitors and local communities discovering the joys of outdoor swimming.

    Jenny Vincent - Beyond Swim

    Beyond Swim is delighted to support the development of Yorkshire Swim Works. Our mission is to bring the open water swimming network together and to provide leadership for the community so that both venues and swimmers feel connected and supported. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to provide guidance and support to a new open water swimming venue and we look forward to working with Yorkshire Swim Works through our Beyond Swim venue accreditation process.

    Beyond Swim is the brainchild of Triathlon England and supported by Swim England and Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK)