Work is about to begin on the restoration of one the UK’s largest and most historic lidos in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has appointed leading construction company Kier Construction Limited to undertake the extensive work.
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.
Hoarding is being erected around the 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 theme. Once the hoarding is fully erected restoration work will be underway.
The new Lido attraction will not only create more local jobs but attract tens of thousands of visitors to Pontypridd town centre.
An important complementary part of the Lido restoration, and a huge visitor attraction in its own right, will be a new play area, which will be designed and constructed by Eibe Play Ltd. Initial concept designs aim to create a play facility that will be unrivalled in South Wales, and that appeal to children of all ages. Local school children will be involved in shaping and informing the design in the coming weeks.
This project, coupled with the massive regeneration project in the town centre itself along with other public and private sector investment programmes means that Pontypridd is benefiting from the largest cash injection in its history.
“The refurbished lido will create a regional tourist attraction bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Pontypridd. It will also create jobs directly in the lido itself, and have economic benefits for local businesses.
“It is unavoidable that the park will need to do without a swimming facility this summer because of the construction work on the new Lido. After completion families and children will also be able to enjoy a state of the art play facility which is an integral part of the project.
“Our aim is to strengthen the effectiveness of the investment already being made in Pontypridd, through the various public and private sector led regeneration schemes. Undoubtedly the restoration of the Lido also act as a catalyst for further future regeneration activity in Pontypridd.”
The restoration project will include restoring and remodeling the Lido with three heated swimming pools that offers maximum flexibility to accommodate different age groups and facilitate a varied and fun activities programme.
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.
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.loveponty.com