What’s going on at the Lido?
April 2019 Update on building works.
Repairs and upgrades to the pool area are needed before the pool can open for 2019, as was explained in the March update.
The blue pool lining was unsatisfactory and has been prepared for a new coating which is being applied. Weather conditions have been favourable so far and progress good and so no delays are expected.
You may also have seen a digger/excavator at the poolside. It is believed that the cause of the leak in the pool has been identified and underground pipework is being replaced and rerouted where necessary to stop the water loss experienced last year and prevent it happening again. This unfortunately has required significant excavation work at the deepest end of the pool and replacing paving and ‘making good’ the surface ready for use by the public after the repairs will need time and good weather to complete.
Work on rendering the changing room block has stalled due to the weather as the required rendering cannot be applied below a certain temperature, but it is hopeful that work can restart soon – as long as it warms up and doesn’t rain.
Upgrading and rectifying issues within the changing room block is taking longer (and is costing more) than planned partly due to unexpected issues being discovered as some previously ‘temporary’ fittings and cladding are being removed to reveal problems behind them. Additionally, there is a strong desire from the current CIC team not to go into a third year of pool operation with temporary or inappropriate quality fittings and fixtures. The magnificent 40m Saltdean Lido pool is used by many local people and also attracts visitors from around the country (and beyond) and it is essential that good quality changing room, shower and toilet facilities are provided for customers to match the experience of the pool. The CIC is very grateful to Project Associates South East (PASE), who are overseeing the changing block work, for their patience and assistance with cash flowing the project.
In addition to installing new flooring, walling, ceilings and changing/toilet cubicles, the building layout has been improved to allow access to changing and toilet facilities without the need to go through the wet shower area, thus providing a ‘dry’ access route.
It is sincerely hoped that all the above activity will be completed in time for the pool to be commissioned and handed over to the pool operator (Fusion) in time for the planned opening date of May 25th 2019. If this does need to be delayed, the Lido website will be updated accordingly.
Please also look at the website for details of forthcoming fun events!
With regard to the main building: Negotiations with the Council are ongoing and it is hoped that an agreement can be reached that will allow the restoration project to go ahead.
Funding & ongoing works update
Many of you will have heard the great news that Brighton and Hove City Council have agreed to underwrite the shortfall in our matched funding requirement from The Heritage Lottery Fund. This follows lengthy discussions with the officers of the council and we are extremely grateful to them for assisting us and putting forward a report and recommendation to the councilors, who in turn then voted to agree with the recommendation.
We are now in the process of formalising the position with the council. The nature of the underwriting requires us to continue to fund-raise, as it is not a loan nor a donation. It does however, allow us to go to the next stage with the Heritage Lottery Fund with the intent to finalise and secure the award which we hope to do in the next few weeks.
Following that, the next stage will be to recruit professional teams to begin the detail design and coordination of the proposed work after which we will be able to contract with the various building services to begin remedial and construction work.
It is our intention, once the detailed design is complete, to provide a 3D visitor centre to allow the community to ‘walk around’ a virtual version of the completed Lido before work starts. You are unlikely to see any real ‘building’ work for some months yet, although there will soon be some trials for some innovative hydroblasting techniques on the main part of the building. These trials, supported by Historic England, are designed to minimise vibration and damage to the main structure while the old concrete is removed. It has the added benefit of a reduction in noise and dust too, which will be of particular benefit to pool users and people living nearby.
With regard to the pool, during March and April you should see some remedial work being undertaken. We struggled with the pool water level last year and unfortunately this has been proven to be due to a leak in the underground pipework. This will require excavation of the pool side at the corner near the plant room to remedy the fault. Additionally the blue lining to both pools is unsatisfactory, and so during the same period the existing lining will be removed and a new coat applied. Obviously all this work is weather dependent and we hope the contractors will have all the work completed in time for us to reopen on time in May.
At the same time we are undergoing a major refit in the changing room block. All the temporary, and in some cases substandard, work is being removed with the intention that we will open again in May with a much improved, and permanent, fit out. We’ll post a video of the completed work on the website, when it is finished.
Resolving the issues with the pool and changing rooms has been time consuming, but if everything goes to plan, and weather permitting, we will reopen this year with effectively ‘new’ changing rooms, new bright blue pool linings and a water level that can be maintained which will also help in maintaining a constant temperature.
We will shortly be publishing our Events Calendar for 2019, which will include a number of fun evening events at the Lido, so keep an eye out for further updates.
Thank you so much for your continued support and interest,
Derek Leaver (CIC CEO)
Coastal Community Fund update
We have been informed by the CCF that our application has been unsuccessful. To put this in context, they informed us that they received 285 applications applying for a combined £246 million! The CCF actually only had a budget of £40million available to allocate - so the level of competition was very high.
Following this disappointing news, which has left us with a shortfall in our partnership funding, we are focussing our minds on working closely with HLF and BHCC to consider how to proceed and seeking ways to secure the conditional award from HLF while we explore our options.
It is unlikely that there will be a quick resolution to this, but we will update you with relevant information as matters progress.
So what’s going on at the lido?
Well, we’ve just closed another great season and the pool was an immense success with many people enjoying the Lido in our incredible weather. We’ve had in excess of 40,000 visitors which include: community users, serious swimmers, holiday makers and day trippers. Saltdean Lido’s unique 40m tank has also provided an excellent training facility for professional and semi-professional swimming athletes. We are proud to include silver medalist, Fabienne Andre, as one of our regular swimmers. Fabienne won two silver medals and a bronze medal, whilst representing team GB, at this year’s world Cerebral Palsy World Games.
The Main Building
Following the huge generosity of the local community, businesses and countless others we were able to secure a conditional grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for just over half of the amount required to restore and develop the building. We are working with the council to meet the HLF’s conditions and obtain ‘permission to start’ status, which we hope will be within the next few months. We’ll keep you informed and post updates to the website whenever we have news.
In the meantime we’re working very closely with our contractors Project Associates South East (PASE) to prepare the program of works and further the designs with Conrans Architects. The continued enthusiasm and collaboration with Saltdean residents will determine the final layout and usage of the community space. The CIC is fully committed to the provision of a community centre at the Lido for our rapidly growing and diverse community
Over the next few weeks you may see activity on a section of the building to carry out tests. We are using some pretty innovative techniques to remove, reinforce and replace rendering to a standard approved for the Grade II* listed building, in an environmentally attractive way. The techniques we are testing, result in reduced noise and efficient waste management which, if the test works, will be particularly good news for the Lido’s neighbours. Historic England and BHCC are engaged and supportive of these tests as they could benefit other heritage sites in the UK. We’re exciting to be potentially blazing a trail for heritage renovation in the UK!
We will post updates to the site whenever we have them.
And if you would like to view the plans for the main building, you can view the plans here.