Saltdean Lido bosses look likely to be granted a lease for the grade II* listed art deco pool and building as they aim to firm up funding for further restoration work.
They are waiting on a decision – due later this week – from Brighton and Hove City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.
If councillors agree to grant the lease – which would run for 63 years – the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (CIC) could call on heritage funding of up to £4.2 million.
The CIC has already attracted external grants and run crowdfunding campaigns to bring the open air pools back into use at a cost of £3 million.
Now the team behind the project wants to revive the rundown 1930s building and has already lined up much of the £8 million needed for the work.
The biggest sum is a conditional grant of £4.2 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), formerly known as the Heritage Lottery Fund.
But one of the conditions is that the CIC has a lease for the site – rather than its current looser agreement with the council.
The CIC is also expected to “match fund” the grant and has raised £120,000 from a crowdfunding campaign as well as more than £400,000 from organisations such as grant-making trusts and foundations.
The council is also putting £700,000 towards the cost of work on Saltdean Library, which is on the site, and is being asked to revise the repayment terms for a £220,000 loan.
But the CIC still has a funding gap of £2.3 million although the council could underwrite £1.6 million of the deficit, leaving a target of at least £700,000.
The council owns the Lido site and buildings and would be saddled with unspecified costs if the CIC walked away.
The main building is in Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. It was placed in the register in October 2011 by English Heritage before it split into two organisations, one of which became Historic England.
Extensive work is needed on the main building because the structure is under attack from the salt in the sea-dredged gravel that was used in its construction. The salty sea air is also proving corrosive.
Once restored, the CIC hopes that it will become financially sustainable, with income from a café and venue hire charges from community use by groups and for events such as weddings.
The closure of the pool this summer – three years after it was reopened – has been a temporary setback but the fundraising work continues.
The council’s Policy and Resources Committee is due to hold its “virtual” meeting from 4pm on Thursday (9 July). The meeting is due to be webcast on the council website.
For more information about the Lido, its plans and its fundraising, click here.
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