SALTDEAN LIDO: Final Push to Get Back to Glory!
By Janet Kelly
Over £4.2m has is up for grabs for the second stage of Saltdean Lido’s restoration – meaning the art deco building can be brought back to life as a community facility and tourist attraction.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) would like to give the Lido the massive grant, on the provision that local people and other funders can also commit to supporting the project.
To start this phase, the Saltdean Lido Trust has launched a crowdfunding campaign which aims to generate £100k worth of finance within the next two months.
Deryck Chester, who sits on the board of the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company, said that to reach this goal would send a huge message to the HLF’s trustees about continued local involvement and the ongoing desire to get the building back into full use.
''Saltdean Lido is now one of the most famous lido in the UK, it is Brighton’s last historic pool and it is also our local community facility and landmark’’ he added.
There has been a continuous drive to reclaim the Lido’s original facilities since Dennis Audley announced plans in 2010 to fill the pool with concrete and build 125 flats on the site.
Residents soon kicked into action and petitioned English Heritage to upgrade the Lido listing to Grade 2* and within a couple of years the Community Interest Company successfully bid for the site’s 60 year lease.
From the first HLF grant which helped with feasibility studies to the latest pledge of £4.19m from the HLF, fundraising has continued through various other means including support from Social Investment Business, The Big Lottery’s ‘Peoples Millions’, the Coastal Communities Fund and local events which have been exceptionally well supported by people in the area – and beyond.
There is a huge fondness for the Lido as it is one of just three key buildings in Brighton which link it to its seaside pleasure status – the others being the Royal Pavilion and Palace Pier. It also represents the era of the 1930s when people of all backgrounds could get together to enjoy a social space.
Phase One of the redevelopment culminated last summer with over 4,000 people enjoying the opening day of the lido’s pool – and 37,000 visiting throughout the summer to enjoy the heated pool and sunbathing lawns as well as many fundraising events.
The key to getting the next stage complete is to convince the HLF that there will be a sustainable pipeline of funding should the Lido building be renovated.
Plans for Phase Two include a licensed heritage café and bistro, reinstatement of the spiral staircase and extending the café space to the first floor. A new community room, a first floor ballroom and new facilities to include disabled access and a lift are also on the list of requirements. The restoration will also enable to the recreation of the library which currently exists in the 60s extension and is in a terrible state of repair.
''The income revenue once we completed Phase Two will come from community events, corporate hospitality, weddings, private parties and so on. In the meantime raising the £100,000 through the crowdfunding campaign will demonstrate to the HLF the fantastic level of public support this project has, and the fact that people do not want the Saltdean Lido’s building to crumble into a state of total disrepair,'' said Deryck.
He added that many people have already helped with the Lido’s 'bricks campaign' which funded a new substation (which now services both the Lido and Saltdean’s grid) but this is the first time the volunteer group is asking for money to go directly towards the restoration of the building.
''We very much appreciate everyone’s contribution to saving this spectacular facility which, once restored to glory, it should give many people pleasure for generations to come'' - Deryck added.
To contribute to the crowdfund please visit - Help-release-funding-from-the-national-lottery-heritage-fund-to-help-transform-saltdean-lidos-cafe or write a cheque payable to Saltdean Lido Trust (Charity no 1173503) and send it to: Saltdean Lido Trust, Saltdean Lido, Park Road, Saltdean BN2 8SP. Pledges and cheques will not be drawn until the lottery fund have given approval for the restoration works to begin.
This weekend (April 7th-8th) there will be a special exhibition about the Saltdean Lido plans being held at the Saltdean Lido Lower Community Hall, for more info please follow this link >