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The Pool

The centre is to be built in Frome, Somerset, UK.

Ownership of land, buildings and equipment

The Local Authority has granted Harry’s Hydro Appeal a 30 year lease at a peppercorn rent.

The building and all equipment will be owned by the charity and will be fully independent of statutory provision.

Design research

The aim is to build a best practice Hydrotherapy and Sensory Centre. We began by identifying the best facilities in the UK as well as around the world, and researched them to identify the best ways of delivering each aspect of the centre. Our approach was to learn from others re. mistakes, improvements, what works and what doesn’t - in facility design, therapy and organisation of the centre.

The results of our research have been edited into a document which has been lodged with the UK government and key interest groups such as SCOPE, MENCAP and the British Hydrotherapy Association for Chartered Physiotherapists. It sets out guidelines for the specification of these facilities in an area where none exist. In addition we are working with an international hydrotherapy expert, and ex-Committee member of the British Hydrotherapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, to ensure that we deliver the best facility; for the maximum number of people and conditions as possible; as economically as possible.

Our research has identified that a prefabricated build with timber provides the most aesthetic, practical, non ‘medical’ and economical option. We have also identified that we need a fully automated plant to control air moisture and temperature, chemical balance and water temperature as these can otherwise become expensive maintenance items which can lead to periods of closure.

User research

The design will incorporate the findings from a different programme of research we have conducted among disabled people. It will take account of their dislike of ‘medical’ environments, and will include elements of fun and colour, as well as a full stimulation audio and lights system around the pool itself. This will help fulfil their need to have an inviting place that is ‘theirs’, to which they can invite family and friends. A club atmosphere.


The site preparation and build will start in February 2011. The aim is to open the centre in autumn 2011.

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