Pontypridd Lido Building, Welsh Outdoor Pool, Swimming Project Wales, Design
Pontypridd Lido, Wales : Welsh Swimming Pool Building
Development at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Wales – design by Capita Symonds
10 Aug 2012
Architects: Capita Symonds
Lottery Boost for Pontypridd Lido
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced an investment of £2.3 million to restore one of Wales’ largest and only remaining listed lidos in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd.
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council will use the funding, together with monies being sought from other funders, to restore and reopen the Grade II listed Lido complex with modern facilities for the local community.
Capita Symonds is designing and project managing the redevelopment.
Built in 1927 in an arts and crafts style, at a time when several hundred lidos and open air swimming pools were constructed across the UK, the Lido has a distinctive Mediterranean influence. Ynysangharad is the only listed lido to have survived in Wales and one of only 14 with architectural significance left in the whole of the UK.
The large number of lidos during the 1920s and 30s was influenced, in part, by a wider European social trend promoting the virtues of fitness and outdoor pursuits. The Council hopes that the restoration will create a regional visitor attraction with important economic benefits for the town, alongside creating health, educational and learning benefits.
With its rectangular shaped pool, rounded corners and semi-circular diving area, the Lido was considered to have one of the largest open air swimming pools in Wales, accommodating up to 1000 people in its heyday.
During the post-war years the Lido remained a popular attraction but in the 1980s the complex fell into decline and was closed in 1991.
Located in the popular Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in the centre of Pontypridd, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, the complex has a great historical significance for the town. Jenny James, the first woman to swim the English Channel, trained at the Lido and it was also a local haunt for the legendary Welsh singer, Tom Jones.
The £6.2 million project, which hopes to attract 30,000 visitors in the first year of re-opening, will also include extensive opportunities for people to learn about and get involved in the heritage of the Lido.
Plans include accredited conservation skills training for young people who will work on the repair project and an exhibition capturing the history of the Lido and the Park with memories and photographs from local people. The aim is to provide visitors with a taste of how life would have been in the South Wales Valleys during the 1920s.
The Council also hope to establish a community group as a focus for volunteer activity who will be given the opportunity to learn new skills and play a vital part in the life of the Lido through guided walks, a dedicated website and basic maintenance work.
Dr. Manon Williams, Chair of the HLF Committee for Wales, said: “Ynysangharad Lido is a unique heritage asset in Wales which deserves to be saved. This project will restore the Lido to its former glory and in doing so create a fantastic visitor attraction and community hub with significant economic and social benefits. The project will also provide a fascinating insight into life in the 1920s and give volunteers the opportunity to play a part in their local heritage site. Our next Olympian hopeful could train here and make history all over again.”
Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Cllr Anthony Christopher said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund decision to award £2.3M towards the lido restoration is a huge boost for the project, and the most substantial Heritage Lottery Fund award ever received in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The restoration and reopening of the lido will have a significant impact on enhancing and upgrading the historic Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
“Restoring and bringing the lido back to use as a state-of-the art modern swimming facility will create a major visitor attraction in Pontypridd, in addition to creating new jobs in the town, and encouraging visitors to spend in the local area. This will further boost confidence in investors in the town and coupled with the ongoing transformation of Pontypridd thanks to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, the potential to create a thriving destination for the 21st century is becoming a reality.
“The Lido would be a huge asset to the regeneration of Pontypridd overall and the positive news of this funding award gives us much encouragement to work closely with the Welsh European Funding Office to secure the important remainder of the funding package.”
Pontypridd Lido Building – Outdoor Pool Wales images / information from Capita Symonds
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Pontypridd Lido Building