Saltdean lido: Fundraising hope for more restoration

The lido proved popular once it had been reopened Image copyright Saltdean Lido Trust
Image caption The lido proved popular once it was reopened

Volunteers fundraising for a Grade II*-listed lido have secured £100,000 needed to strengthen their bid for £4.19m of Heritage Lottery Funding.

The Saltdean Lido in Brighton, East Sussex, was dilapidated and on the verge of demolition until a local group took it over and began refurbishments.

Phase one saw the pools updated and phase two will "sympathetically restore" the 1938 building into a cafe and hub for the community.

In total 1,223 people made donations.

Image copyright Saltdean Lido Trust
Image caption The lido before any renovation

The Regency Society, which campaigns for Brighton and Hove's built heritage, pushed them over the target with a £7,000 donation on Tuesday.

Rebecca Crook, former chairwoman and director of the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (CIC), said: "Our community is wonderful.

"We're in the strongest position we could be now and expect a decision from the Heritage Lottery Fund by mid June.

"We have planning permission and are ready to start the work."

Image copyright Saltdean Lido Trust
Image caption Artists impression of how Saltdean Lido will look with refurbishment

If the money is awarded the project is expected to take three years to complete.

The company wants to preserve the history of the lido so will be creating an interactive Heritage Learning Zone, and aims to be financially self-sufficient in the future.

Miss Crook added: "Unfortunately, swimming pools rarely generate a profit so the café, along with the lido's ballroom and meeting and function rooms, must be restored to a high standard for them to generate sufficient income to cover the cost of operating the whole lido site."

Image copyright Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Image caption Bathers at Saltdean Lido, East Sussex, circa 1940

Regency Society Chairman Roger Hinton said: "Restoration of the Saltdean Lido site is one of Brighton and Hove's most important heritage projects.

"We believe that it will not only save a fine building but also create an important asset for the local community."

A Heritage Lottery Fund spokeswoman said trustees would consider the application in late June.

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