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Community in pole position to run Saltdean Lido
2:15pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
The Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company has come one step closer to running the town's listed art deco landmark.
The CIC has been given provisional preferred bidder status by Brighton and Hove City Council ahead of councillors deciding who should be awarded the contract to run Saltdean Lido.
If it is approved, it could take over the lido together with Wave Leisure Trust "in the near future". A statement can be read here.
Rebecca Crook, Chair of the CIC, said “Of course, after a 3.5 year campaign we are overjoyed however this is now the start of even more hard work but we are ready for the challenge ahead.
"The building and swimming pool needs millions of pounds spent on it. From the outside, it might look ok but there are serious structural issues which have left particularly the front part of the building in a very poor condition.
"Nevertheless we are very confident in our ability to transform Saltdean Lido into a commercially viable and financially self-sufficient operation for the benefit of local people and visitors alike.”
Peter Crowley, Managing Director of Wave Leisure Trust, said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Saltdean Lido CIC to re-open this iconic facility for the benefit of the local community.
"We look forward to bringing our expertise in inspiring active lifestyles to work with the CIC team in making Saltdean Lido a successful and unique attraction again.”
Paul Zara, Director, Conran & Partners Architects who have supported the campaign to save Saltdean Lido since 2010 said “It’s the right decision, of course.
"The team behind this bid will turn the lido into a national destination, but most importantly it is the heart of Saltdean and a much loved friend.
"I can’t wait to swim there again, but there’s a lot of work to do first. This is the beginning of a new life for Saltdean Lido.”
The recommendation is due to go before the Economic Development and Culture Committee on September 19.
Committee chair Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said: “This is another step forward in achieving the council’s aim of a fully restored Lido for the benefit of the local community.
"We have received two very good bids and it now a question of ensuring we can get into a position where a long-term lease can be granted and secure the Lido for the future.”
The report says the multi-million pound restoration will require any operator of the Lido to secure a Lottery grant. Until this happens it is likely that the pools will remain closed.
The Lido’s previous operator handed back the keys in June 2012 and the building has not opened since. The council has since spent around £100,000 on emergency repairs and maintenance.
Saltdean Lido CIC was selected following an open marketing exercise. Three initial bids were submitted. These were evaluated by a panel of council officers from procurement, finance, legal, property, planning, libraries and leisure departments.
Saltdean Lido, by architect RWH Jones, was built in 1938 and is Grade II* listed by English Heritage.
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