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Worthing Lido set for £2 million makeover
A historic seafront building is set for a very modern £2 million makeover.
Plans have been revealed for Worthing Lido to have a new retractable roof installed that would transform the former swimming pool – which now hosts music and other events – into an all-weather attraction.
It is hoped that the improvements could more than double visitor numbers and create a range of new opportunities.
The designs have been submitted to Worthing Borough Council and if permission is granted, work could begin in the autumn and be finished in two weeks.
Philippa Bradbury, the lido’s marketing manager, said: “This project is for the community.
“Obviously it is for a business as well but we want to make this a hub for the community.
“I think it will be really nice to have a focal point on the seafront for Worthing that will join the town centre and the seafront together.
“Hopefully it will attract people from outside the area and a lot of other local businesses will also benefit.”
The roof will cost £1.25 million with funding from the Coastal Communities Fund.
It will be designed to withstand gusts of up to 90mph and is expected to help preserve the band enclosure, which opened in 1925.
The lido’s owners have called in Bristol-based experts Base Structures to work on their project.
The company previously designed structures for The O2, London Zoo, Lord’s cricket ground and London 2012 venues.
The retractable roof operates by weather sensors and will be capable of closing within a matter of minutes.
With a roof in place, the lido owners will be able to add amphitheatre-style seating around a stage area, which will be run on a not-for-profit basis for schools, youth groups and theatre groups.
A flat area inside the lido could then also be used for Christmas markets, fares and even an ice rink throughout the off-season.
A birdcage bandstand was first built on the site west of Worthing Pier in 1897 and stood for almost 30 years before being knocked down to make room for the D-shaped band enclosure, which remains today.
The unheated swimming pool was added in 1957 and the site was renamed the Lido.
It was used to house dolphins from the Brighton Sealife Centre before the pool closed in 1988 and was converted into a family entertainment centre.
The consultation ends on February 14.
To comment visit www.worthing-adur.gov.uk.
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