Council commits to preserving Worthing Lido
Released: Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Worthing Borough Council is committing to explore all avenues to preserve and enhance the town's Grade II Listed lido despite significant issues being identified on its supporting structure.
Decades of constant exposure to seaside conditions has caused widespread deterioration to the underside of the 95-year-old building on the town's promenade.
Recent assessments by an independent consultant has highlighted issues with the condition of the suspended substructure which overhangs the beach.
To prevent further decline, a detailed schedule of repair works could be required which may result in parts of the lido being temporarily closed. This will depend on the findings of further detailed surveys due to take place this week.
Acknowledging the important role it plays in the heritage of the town, the Council is working with the lido's tenant to ensure that as much of the current offer as possible can continue trading in the immediate future.
Details of the extent of the deterioration, repair options and how they will be funded will be brought forward for review by executive councillors in the new year.
Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
“For close to the century, the lido has been a landmark building on our seafront. Residents are rightly proud of its heritage and it continues to be an attraction for tens of thousands of people each year.
“But we know from experience in other parts of the country that, even with maintenance, seafront buildings such as the lido do deteriorate over time when they are exposed to the harsh elements of the sea.
“Given the recent acceleration and severity of the initial structural reports, it is only right that we act quickly and decisively to prevent further decline of this listed building.
“Our first priority is to protect the structure of the lido and ensure public safety, whilst entering into open and honest discussions with the current tenant and other key stakeholders so that we can develop a viable short-term solution which supports their livelihoods. It's only right that we look at all of our options for the site moving forward.”
The lido was opened in 1925 with the D-shaped building providing a shelter for people to crowd round the bandstand.
It was then converted into a swimming pool before it became the leisure attraction it is today, featuring a cafe, amusements and a range of kiosks.
Recently it was used as a film set, acting as a backdrop for Stan & Ollie, a film starring Steve Coogan which focussed on Laurel and Hardy's last tour of the UK.
Martin Barrett, the tenant at Worthing Lido, said:
“I have always known, due to the lido being a 95 year old construction which is exposed to sea, wind and rain, that ongoing work to preserve the site is essential.
“In order to allow maintenance work to be undertaken and prevent health and safety issues in the future, I know I will have to adapt the way and space in which the business operates.
“I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Council to ensure that it is as much 'business as usual' during the planning and duration of the works. I have been impressed with the guidance, flexibility and determination provided by the council in order to achieve this.
“I have every confidence that the council will continue on this path, minimising the disruption to the business while preserving the site so that it can continue being a major seaside tourist attraction for future generations.”
The majority of the lido has been closed this year due to lockdown measures.
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Page last updated: 01 March 2021