11 September 2013

Campaigners could run Saltdean Lido

Running of Saltdean Lido could be offered to a group which has been campaigning for restoration of the historic Art Deco building.

The group Save Saltdean Lido, which became a community interest company (CIC) is the provisional preferred bidder to take on a long lease from owners Brighton & Hove City Council.

However confirmation of the change is dependent on various issues being resolved between the council and the CIC.  If this fails, Freedom Leisure, which runs other council facilities, is the reserve bidder.

The CIC bid promises:

Fully restored building sensitive to the Grade 2-star listing
Heated pool water to extend the season
Fitness gym
Extensive community areas
Extended library
A heritage and education room
Improvements in environmental sustainability

A report on the marketing of the Lido will go to the Economic Development and Culture Committee on September 19.

Committee chair Cllr Geoffrey Bowden said:  “This is another step forward in achieving the council’s aim of a fully restored Lido for the benefit of the local community. We have received two very good bids and it is now a question of ensuring we can get into a position where a long-term lease can be granted and secure the Lido for the future.”

The report says the multi-million pound restoration will require any operator of the Lido to secure a Lottery grant.  Until this happens it is likely that the pools will remain closed.

The Lido’s previous operator handed back the keys in June 2012 and the building has not opened since.  The council has since spent around £100,000 on emergency repairs and maintenance.

Saltdean Lido CIC was selected following an open marketing exercise.  Three initial bids were submitted.  These were evaluated by a panel of council officers from procurement, finance, legal, property, planning, libraries and leisure departments.

Saltdean Lido, by architect RWH Jones, was built in 1938 and is Grade 2-star listed by English Heritage.

The report can be seen among these agenda papers on the council website.