Local people in Brighton are hoping to raise more than £3 million pounds so they can secure the lease of the Saltdean Lido. Control of the Grade II listed structure has just been returned to Brighton and Hove City Council following a long campaign to save the building.
The previous lease holder had hoped to turn part of the site into flats but these schemes were repeatedly rejected following local outcry.
The Lido was built in the 1930's and opened to the public in 1938. During the second world war it was used to house the fire service, who finally left the site in a poor state in 1945. As a result the Lido was not opened to the public for its third summer season in 1964, after the local council spent more than £86,000 on renovation. It was granted Grade II listed building status in 1987.
In 1990s the number of people using the Lido had dropped to the point that the authority felt it could not justify the expense of extensive repairs needed on the site and as a result the pool closed to the public for a second time. In 1990, there were 120 lidos in the UK, today there are fewer than 50.
The friends of Saltdean Lido say they have a business plan in place now that the pool has been returned to council ownership. They hope to operate as a community interest company to carry out repairs and to reopen to the public soon.