Brighton’s Saltdean Lido – one of the Seven Wonders of the English Seaside – reopens with a big splash!
Perfect English summer weather was the order of the day as, after a seven-year wait, the wonderful grade II* listed Saltdean Lido finally reopened with a big splash and a synchronised swimming display. The Lido has a fantastic new-look heated pool and children’s pool and play area.
This was all made possible by the tireless work of director Rebecca Crook and her team of unpaid volunteers and local residents.
The group, officially known as Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (CIC), have spent thousands of hours fundraising around £3 million to date.
This money was used to rebuild the main outdoor pool and reinstate the paddling pool and wet play area. A new plant room and changing rooms have been built and new paving and grass have been laid.
The CIC has appointed Fusion, a leading leisure company with vast experience in running lidos, to operate the pool this summer.
Unlike most indoor and outdoor pools in the UK, the Saltdean Lido receives no subsidies whatsoever towards its running costs. Therefore all the overheads for this exciting opening season, including lifeguards, receptionists, cleaners and pool heating and maintenance, must be covered the entry fees.
Behind the wooden facade shown in the photos, you can see the actual Art Deco lido building which was designed by RWH Jones and built in 1938. Sadly it’s now on the Historic England Buildings at Risk register with parts of it being held up by iron rods.
The CIC’s ultimate goal is to restore the building, which constitutes stage 2 of the project.
The CIC is working with the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund to secure £4.5 million while Brighton and Hove City Council has pledged £700,000.
Alas, this still leaves a funding gap of about £2 million to £3 million which must been raised before the Heritage Lottery Fund will release its funding.
There are a number of grant applications in place but there is still work going on behind the scenes. People can also adopt a brick for the wall of fame by emailing Bridget Fishleigh at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lido has got to where it has today in part thanks to architects and designers Conran and Partners, of Queen’s Road, Brighton. The practice previously brought Embassy Court back to life.
Everyone is welcome back to the Lido and this is reflected in the session times. If you’re an early bird, then you can swim from 7am to 9am or in session one, from 9am to 1pm. Session two runs from 1.30pm to 5.30pm. Or if you fancy a late dip after work, then the 5.30pm to 7pm is the one for you.
You can pay per swim or purchase a season ticket. For more information, visit http://saltdeanlido.co.uk.