Public Sector News

 

Councils Lido lease would attract investment

 

Saltdean Lido will be offered on a 50 year lease to a company or organisation demonstrating it could renovate the building and turn it into a first-class attraction. 

Owner of the Grade 2 Star-listed facility, Brighton & Hove City Council, has being informally talking to lido operators and organisations expressing an interest in taking over the building. 

As a result, a report to the council’s policy committee on January 24 recommends marketing the building on a 50 year lease.  It says a long lease is the most likely way of attracting the required private sector investment – and the best chance of securing Lottery funding. 

In June the council took back the lease from a private operator following concerns about the deteriorating fabric of the building and its opening hours. 

A lease could be offered to either a commercial company, a not-for-profit community trust or a community association. 

A major hurdle to overcome is the poor condition of the building, requiring major capital investment.   

Other Lidos which have been kept open have relied on substantial Lottery funding or money-spinning commercial activities.  Examples include those in Brockwell, Hillingdon, High Wycombe and Plymouth. 

If the principle of a long lease is agreed it would be advertised in February with the aim of securing a new operator later this year.  However the council says that due to the extent of works needed there is little chance of the Lido opening this coming summer. 

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “All along we have shared residents’ desire to restore the building and have it operating as a first-class attraction. Having spoken to community groups and experts we have concluded a long lease is the best way of generating investment and securing Lottery money.   

"Our aim is to make it a wonderful place to spend time once again, but we will have to be patient a little longer because there is a great deal of work to do.”