The Regency Society has pledged £7k to the Saltdean Lido crowd-funding appeal to help the Community Interest Company (CIC) achieve its goal of £101.997. This will help unlock an additional grant of £4.19m from the Heritage Lottery Fund for preserving the rest of the building. The Society agreed to make a pledge, acknowledging the significance of the Lido as one of the finest remaining examples of modernist lidos in the UK. The appeal closes on 16 June. Prior to the RS pledge, over 90% of the total had been donated. Regency Society Chair Roger Hinton comments:
"Restoration of the Saltdean Lido site is one of Brighton and Hove's most important heritage projects. The Saltdean Lido Trust has already brought the pool back into use and is now turning its attention to the main building which is in urgent need of restoration. The Regency Society is pleased to be able to support the project. We believe that it will not only save a fine building but also create an important
asset for the local community."
An award winning restoration
You will recall that the pool was opened a year ago. It attracted around 37,000 visitors and picked up two Brighton & Hove Business Awards - Best New Kid on the Block & Best Hospitality Leisure & Tourism.
Unique modernist heritage
Designed by architect RWH Jones in the mid 1930s, the lido is the only Grade2* listed coastal lido in the country. It was to be the centrepiece of Saltdean’s seafront, a lido being the essential element of a seaside resort in the 1930’s British holiday industry, just as piers had been sixty years before. The central two storey block with a curved, main facade facing a large swimming pool and equal wings either side creating symmetry define its strong and pleasing 'Moderne' (Art Deco) image.
Images from earlier years. (right: from the James Gray Photographic Archive in 1938)
Nationally it is indicative of the lido movement’s success and connotes the aspirations of modernist Britain. Locally it tells the story of modern Saltdean and the community who used it.
The current state of decay in the main building
Future plans - a community resource
The proposal for this phase will restore the poolside café and re-create an Art Deco event space with capacity for 120 people, a spiral staircase leading to a new rotunda tea room and an interactive ‘Heritage Learning Space’ to support greater understanding of the social and architectural significance on the Lido. Once restored it will be used as a not-for-profit community resource and available for corporate and wedding hire.
Plans for the Lido after the restoration
The grant application by the CIC to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) summarises their restoration project:
“To restore Saltdean Lido, the only grade II* listed coastal lido in the country: The CIC will sympathetically restore the building whilst creating a commercially viable leisure destination. The Lido will become a community resource and tourist attraction with a heated pool and poolside café, children’s pool and wet play area, multi-use function and event space, community space and a library, all incorporating features which interpret and celebrate the heritage of the building. The Lido will be managed by the CIC to ensure that the heritage remains protected and accessible to local people. Saltdean Lido will become a national tourist destination, its iconic design social history will be celebrated and visitors will have access to high quality facilities. New employment, volunteering opportunities, and apprenticeships will be created. Our robust business Plan will ensure a sustainable future for the site and will act as a catalyst for economic growth.”