Restoration works at grade II* listed Saltdean Lido could be getting a £700,000 council funding boost. A report on the proposals, which will be put to the council on February 9, says this money would be secured by borrowing and included in the council budget for 2018/19.
The council’s policy, resources and growth committee is being recommended to confirm the funding. The funds could then be used to re-open the public library in the building, which was constructed in 1938.
Speaking to Juice News, council leader Warren Morgan said: “This grant would do two very important things. It would assist restoration of Saltdean Lido, a nationally-important Art Deco building, providing jobs, community and leisure facilities and a new tourist attraction.
“It would also ensure library services are not interrupted by building works and upgrade Saltdean Library as part of a programme to improve neighbourhood libraries all over the city. That bucks a national trend for councils to close libraries.”
The total cost of the restoration project, initially estimated to be 10m, now stands at approximately 12m.
The future of the lido looked shaky back in 2010 when plans for more than 100 flats were put forward. The plans would have seen the site concreted over and closed for good. However, these plans fell through in 2011 when John Penrose, the Minister for tourism and heritage, approved the upgrade of the building’s listed status, protecting it as a ‘particularly important building’. Volunteer- run group Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company then secured the future of the lido back in 2013 after being selected by the council as the favoured bidder.
The pools at the lido, the last open-air baths in Sussex, are expected to re-open to the public this spring. Phase 2 of the works is expected to be completed in 2020. This will see the full complex, complete with the restored library as well as a cafe, restaurant and events space, open to the public in all its glory.
For more information on the development, visit the Saltdean Lido website.