Saltdean Lido asks council for £1.6m towards restoration of art deco building

The next stage of the restoration of Saltdean Lido has hit a stumbling block as £1.6million is needed.

Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company is asking the council to underwrite the amount so it can get a £4.2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Without the £1.6million the lido company will not receive the Heritage Lottery funding.

The CIC has already sucessfully restored the pool itself. This money would go towards restoring the Grade II* listed lido building, which first opened in 1938.

Restoration to save the Art Deco building is estimated to come to £7.5million.

The lido company has applied for other grants, such as the Coastal Communities Fund and Power to Change, but was not successful.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee are recommended to approve acting as guarantor for the money.

If Saltdean Lido CIC does not find another source for the £1.6million, then councillors are advised to approve a loan for the same amount.

Currently the CIC has a loan of £220,000 with the authority which would need restructuring.

At the moment the lido is on the Buildings at Risk register.

Extensive restoration work is needed on the building as the concrete structure is under attack from salt in sea-dredged gravel used in the construction and the salty sea air.

Originally the lido was open for just three summers and closed in 1940 due to the Second World War.

It reopened in the 1960s after restoration work by Brighton Council, only to close again in 1997.

After the CIC took over the lease in 2013, it secured funding and the 40 metre heated pool reopened in 2017.

A report going before the committee said: “The opening weekend was extremely popular and received national publicity.

“More than 35,000 attendances have been achieved for each of the seasons the pool has been open.

“Although the pool has been successful in terms of usage, the operation runs at a loss and is highly unlikely to be sustainable without income generating activities from a renovated main building.”

Money making ideas include setting up a café and hiring the building out for weddings and community events.

If the council does not support the lido then the Heritage Lottery money will fall through and the building will remain under threat.

The report said: “It is highly unlikely that the opportunity to receive such a significant sum of external funding would be achieved in the future.”

The Policy Resources and Growth Committee will discuss the lido when it meets in public at Hove Town Hall from 4pm on Thursday 14 Feburary.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    Is the Heritage Funding a definite or can they only apply on the proviso that they get £1.7m first?
    Also what are the operating costs going to be once the whole venue is finished and will it be enough to cover debt repayments.

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Very interesting about the salt in the sea-drenched gravel used in the Thirties construction. Every year the Council issues a fascinating Report, made with East Suussex Council, about Aggregates. This might sound dry but is vital background about the sourcing of subterranean materials needed for the buildings which rise above the ground. A part of this is the regular dredging of the seabed at Shoreham Harbour so that vessels can get through. It will be interesting to know what measures are now taken to remove salt when that material is used for building purposes. Anyway, I highly recommend these Reports, now written by Steve Tremlett (who is a mainstay of Lewes Football Club).

  3. Hugo Reply

    It looks tired. Why not convert it into some luxury housing. Would make great holiday home. Not worth effort trying to revamp. Also saltdean needs some decent homes

  4. Paul keeley Reply

    If the council do not give the money and the Restoration fails the building will revert back to the council who are the lease holders, who will then be liable for the full restoration costs as a listed building.

    • Rolivan Reply

      Which begs the question of why was it allowed to get into a state of disrepair in the first place.Just like so many Council owned properties throughout the City and yet Joe Public would be issued with an enforcement order PDQ.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        It fell i8nto disrepair as a spiv called Addley tried to turn it into houses and let the building run down. It was, necessarily, a long process to wrest it back from him.

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