A magnificent transformation of Pontypridd’s extensive Lido is well underway as major restoration work continues at the site.
The much loved Lido at YnysangharadWarMemorial Park, which is one of the largest and most historic in the UK is benefitting from a £6.3million investment programme to create a Wales-wide visitors’ destination.
Prior to commencement of work the project’s ecologist introduced a scheme to protect any nearby bats. Any bats found roosting on site, were removed by an ecologist and re-homed to the alternative roosts provided by three bat boxes, erected in nearby trees.
Within days of the appointment of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s contractors, Kier Construction, widespread work has already taken place on the Lido.
The derelict Lido site and accompanying Lido Play Area has been surrounded by safety hoarding site to ensure it is safe and secure, and so visitors can continue to use and enjoy the historic park. Local school children are currently involved in a project to paint the hoarding in a 1920’s inspired theme.
During the past month asbestos has been safely removed from the site and the demolition of the modern build former cafe and kiosk has also taken place to make way for the impressive new development.
The restoration, which is due for completion in summer 2015, will include new features such as heated changing facilities, a café serving users of the Lido, and also general park users, and a viewing gallery and visitor interpretation space permanently depicting the history of the Lido and the wider park.
Local contractors have also carefully removed the distinctive terracotta roof tiles from the changing blocks and accompanying buildings from within the Lido complex. These were created in 1927 by a French tile manufacturer which still operates today. Therefore replacement tiles have been ordered from the same company that produced them almost 90 years ago, ensuring the historic character of the lido is preserved.
School children from the Pontypridd area have also been involved in a series of events and workshops to assist with shaping and designing the state-of-the-art Lido Play Area to accompany the Lido complex and make it an ideal visitors’ destination for all ages.
The dry-play area will be designed and constructed by Eibe Play Ltd and initial concept designs show a play facility that will be unrivalled in South Wales, that will appeal to children of all ages.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Planning Cllr Robert Bevan explained, “Anyone who visits Ynysangharad War Memorial Park cannot fail to see the huge transformation of the historic Lido site taking place before their very eyes.
“This ambitious project will create an exciting, modern leisure complex right in the heart of Pontypridd which promises to attract visitors from throughout the country. It will not only create more local jobs but attract tens of thousands of visitors to Pontypridd town centre.
“As an authority we have worked hard in securing the necessary funding to make our aspirations for the Lido become a reality.
“It is wonderful to see the transformation take place and we all look forward with great excitement and expectation for what promises to be a truly magnificent complex fit for the 21st century.”
The restoration of the Grade II-listed Lido is taking place thanks to £3million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, £2.3million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a £900,000 contribution from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and a £100,000 contribution from Cadw.
The project will:
Restore the historic grade II listed lido to a high standard.
Restore the lido’s historic features, such as the original turnstiles, and wooden cubicles
Reopen the lido as a heated facility, with three pools for different uses: a main pool, an activities pool, and an attractive semi circular paddling pool for small children.
Provide free entry for children aged 12 or under with accompanying adult
Construct a high quality café to serve both the lido and wider park.
Construct a visitor interpretation space, viewing gallery, and classroom/meeting facility, which can act as a hub for community learning and volunteering opportunities
Construct a new changing block in line with modern expectations.
Create a state of the art adventure dry play facility open year round.
Built in 1927 in an arts and crafts style the lido has a distinctive Mediterranean influence and, with its swimming pool, bath gallery and changing rooms the lido complex is unusually large, accommodating up to 1000 people in its heyday.
During the post-war years the lido remained a popular attraction for the local community but by the early 1980s the complex fell into decline and was closed in 1991.
The restoration of the Lido will create a regional tourist attraction for Pontypridd, strengthening community ownership, encouraging local pride and contributing to the economy of the town centre and its wider communities.
For further details visit the Regeneration section of www.pontypriddlido.co.uk
AberdareOnline would add
The Labour manifesto 2012 clearly says
If re-elected Labour will work to secure the necessary funding from HLF and WEFO to deliver a new Lido facility. If successful with securing funding we will ensure that the facility becomes a regional tourism attraction. We will also ensure that the existing paddling pool facility is protected.
WE WILL ALSO ENSURE THAT THE EXISTING PADDLING POOL FACILITY IS PROTECTED.