Plans to refurb Worthing Lido revealed

Wednesday, 16 March 2022 07:41

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Potential refurb plans for Worthing Lido revealed including heated outdoor pool, spa and restaurant.

The future of Worthing Lido is set to be discussed on Wednesday (March 16) with a heated pool, spa, and a restaurant all on the table.

It is clear from reports before Worthing Borough Council that the Lido, on Marine Parade, is in need of refurbishment. Senior councillors will discuss the Grade II listed building’s future on Wednesday but – although the £80,000 set aside in the 2022-23 budget could help to service borrowing – a ‘creative approach’ will be needed to meet refurbishment costs ‘in excess of £10 million’.

The structure was originally built as a bandstand with a recreation area in 1925 but gained its name when a pool was added in 1957.

A £2 million refurbishment scheme was announced in 2014 but was not carried out. This could have been because repairs to the substructure – the area below the deck – were not included, according to a feasibility report by Marshall & Kendon Architects.

A risk assessment in April 2020 resulted in reduced public access and it is thought that the ‘badly corroded and weakened’ concrete slab which covers the old pool ‘can no longer support heavy loads’.

A deck added in 1989 when the pool was decommissioned, has ‘badly deteriorated’.

Marshall & Kendon Architects put forward several refurbishment proposals, including a ’boutique hotel’ complex, an 800-900 seat music venue with retractable roof, and a food court to seat up to 500 people. But the council’s preferred option would see a heated open-air pool installed,
spa facilities, and a restaurant. Under these plans, an additional storey would be added to house part of the spa and the public toilets would be kept, but the promenade shops would go.

It is thought that this option could help to ‘create a destination that is busy all day long and all year round’ – something that is ‘essential to long term viability’ according to the feasibility study.

Even so, it is thought that any new uses may not meet the ‘significant’ cost of the refurbishment and a ‘creative approach’ will be needed.
This could take the form of a subscription model whereby residents pay towards the cost.

It has also been suggested that WBC put in a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Senior councillors are set to discuss the plans in the coming days and are being asked to approved a public consultation.

 

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