Transformed Pontypridd lido to reopen for first time after being devastated by Storm Dennis

290421 Ponty Lido

The National Lido of Wales in Pontypridd is due to reopen for the first time since it was forced to close after being damaged by Storm Dennis last year.

In February 2020 the Lido was completely submerged in water after Storm Dennis battered Pontypridd.

Pictures showed the facility covered in dirty water, the cafe and offices were flooded and debris surrounded the pool.

The Lido will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 1.

Lido manager Brent Bennett, along with his team, has been working behind the scenes for months to bring the Lido back into people's lives and he said all the hard work will be worth it when they get to see people having a bit of fun again."What we want is to see people here enjoying themselves," he said."This Lido has been here since 1927 - it has very important history here. It's always been well received, and I think people have missed it."We're very excited indeed. I think there are a lot of people who are excited that it's opening."The bookings are full, so we are going to take 600 people a day now going forward. After all the devastation caused by Storm Dennis and obviously the Covid pandemic, we are now at a point where on Saturday we'll be able to open for the first time in the best part of 18 months."We are here now and, as you can see, it's looking good."

Speaking about the floods, Brent added: "At the time it was devastating. All the hard work the staff have done in the park, and for the Lido, has been above and beyond and we hope it'll be something for all the people to enjoy."But, of course, the Lido won't be exactly as we knew it before, as a number of restrictions will be in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As it opens its doors again, the Lido will be open on weekends and bank holidays only. There will also be extended opening hours to allow people to make the most of the lighter nights. Naturally, the facility will also operate at a reduced capacity of 600 people per day.As well as this there will also be someone to greet visitors on the door, a one-way system will be in place as well as social distancing measures and sanitising stations.Some of the new changing rooms have even been designed to accommodatefor families of four.

Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure for RCT Council, said it's been brilliant to see how much work has been done at the site, especially with the pressures the pandemic has added to the last year.Thinking back to when Storm Dennis hit, Coun Crimmings said: "The first thing was the devastation. Everything was destroyed here."1,000 tonnes of debris was in here. Everything was wiped out. It was like starting from scratch. We are itching for people to come back."Even the pump room was left in a state when water poured into the facility, but now it's all shiny and glimmering.She added: "I'm so proud of the staff. It's lovely. I'm really proud to live in RCT. I really am."Look around at what we have on our doorsteps. We are already fully booked for the weekend. It will be a proud day on Saturday."