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Pool is Cool crowdfund campaign raises more than €60,000
A crowdfunding campaign to help bring a permanent open-air swimming pool to Brussels has successfully raised more than €60,000.
Some 880 people donated to the fundraiser by the non-profit collective Pool is Cool, which has been campaigning for open-air swimming in the capital since 2015.
Pool is Cool launched its latest crowdfunder in May, called Je Veux Nager - a nod to a song by the late Belgian rock icon Arno. The campaign closed on Monday having reached 102% of its €60,000 goal - a total of €61,556.
"Together, we will demonstrate that outdoor swimming can be sustainable, social and accessible to all," the organisation said.
Last summer, Pool is Cool built a pop-up swimming pool, Flow, by the canalside in Anderlecht, which the group said "became a bustling hot spot for a liveable city".
"Flow has proven the overwhelming demand for outdoor swimming in Brussels," Pool is Cool added.
The money raised in this latest campaign will ensure that Flow can continue to operate next year. It is due to finish its summer season on 18 September.
The cash raised will also fund free swimming lessons for children and adults, and research into a water purification system, while work continues to persuade Brussels authorities to invest in a more permanent solution - potentially a swimming area in the Neerpede lake in Anderlecht.
While around 80 years ago there were three open-air swimming pools in the capital, they all closed down in the 1960s and 1970s, following a few years of abysmal summer weather and poor maintenance. Brussels is one of the few European capitals without an outdoor swimming option.