Ambitious plans to build a £4.5m heated open air swimming pool on Brighton seafront are set to move closer next week with the granting of a 150-year lease.
The 50m swimming pool, originally billed as Sky Wide Open and now known as Sea Lanes, will be an eight lane pool with a constant depth of 1.5m, teamed with indoor training pools, a sauna, training studios and therapy rooms.
A cafe, shops, offices and function rooms are also planned for the site on the old Peter Pan’s playground, next to Yellowwave.
A report to be considered by Brighton and Hove City Council’s policy and resources committee next Thursday says: “The Sea Lanes development is an exciting and unique proposal which will provide a high quality and sustainable attraction for the seafront.
“The draft seafront strategy identifies Madeira Drive as a key area of the seafront in need of regeneration.
“The council’s desire is to establish Madeira Drive as an all year round leisure destination for residents and visitors alike.
“Brighton is fast becoming a national centre for open water swimming. However, most swimmers have nowhere to change, leave their belongings or shower afterwards.
“The developers all own local businesses and have a passion for open water swimming.”
The developers behind the scheme are Copsemill Properties, SwimTrek, Swimmergy and We Like Today. The £4.5m scheme will be funded privately through 50% equity investment and 50% bank funding.
Rich Brett, creative director and principal of We Like Today explains: “This city, as any other, doesn’t deserve ‘anywhere architecture’ that separates people from their surroundings.
“I am interested in using design and architecture to make a difference and wanted people to feel pride of place for an area that used to be at the heart of Brighton and Hove’s leisure industries.
“Brighton shares a special relativity with the sea, yet at present, there is little integration between the two. The idea for Sea Lanes was to build an active and immersive destination, open up a dialogue with the sea and the local community, and revitalise Madeira Drive and this area of the city.”
Joe Mcnulty, Director of Copsemill Properties, highlights: “The redevelopment of this important site will help to regenerate this little used area of Brighton.
“The focus on sea swimming will help to cement the reputation of Brighton as the spiritual home of sea swimming. The commercial space will help to create a new place for people to work, eat, shop and exercise.
“The bold and exciting architecture will help to prove that Brighton is highly capable of delivering world-class design. We are all really excited about this project and cannot wait to turn this vision into a reality.”
Simon Murie, Managing Director of SwimTrek adds: “As an international swimming holiday operator based in Brighton we take thousands of swimmers annually away on overseas trips each year.
“We are proud to be part of this exciting swimming development which will give swimmers an opportunity to swim in a 50M open air heated pool situated right on Brighton Beach.
“With this facility, the city will become a premier swimming destination once more and encourage both national and international visitors to visit our vibrant city.”