Swim England

A nation swimming

Future Lidos receives vital National Lottery Heritage Funding

Future Lidos have been awarded £99,800 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support it’s Pooling Resources project.

The project will bring together expertise from across the lido sector to create a digital Lido Toolkit that will be used to raise awareness of the unique role lidos play in the community and to help strengthen the wider network of outdoor pools.

Future Lidos is an informal network of community-led projects and campaigns around the UK and Ireland, dedicated to reviving outdoor pool swimming in their communities.

They will be supported by Swim England’s facilities and insight teams as they develop the toolkit, enabling them to draw on the latest data and on industry-leading knowledge of best practice in facilities development and environmental sustainability.  

Swim England has previously provided lido projects with analysis on water space and outdoor swimming trends nationally and regionally, which has helped to reinforce their case.

This project will help more lido projects to follow  in the footsteps of other Heritage Fund-supported lidos, such as the Jubilee Pool in Penzance and Brockwell Lido in South London.

‘The joy of swimming outdoors’

Though indoor pools across the country are struggling for survival amid soaring energy bills, swimming outdoors surged in popularity throughout the pandemic and this funding provides some positive news for the future of aquatics.

A number of lidos which were only previously open only during the summer months are now operating all year round due to the rise in demand of cold water swimming.

Britain’s oldest outdoor pool, Bath’s Cleveland Pools, will reopen fully this year following its refurbishment with both Albert Avenue Baths in Hull and Sea Lanes, a new 50-metre pool on Brighton’s seafront are set to open this year.

On awarding the funding, Chief Executive at the National Lottery Heritage Fund Eilish McGuiness said: “The UK is home to an amazing collection of lidos. Many had fallen into disrepair, but a renewed love of these special places and the blissful joy of swimming outdoors has created a lido renaissance right across the country.

“At the Heritage Fund we are delighted we have supported that renaissance by providing more than £13 million towards restoring and celebrating lidos such Saltdean Lido in Brighton and Cleveland Pools in Bath.

“Lidos are true public and community spaces, providing health, wellbeing and happiness to those who use them.

“Our support to the Future Lidos Group for their ‘Pooling Resources’ project will help others build capacity and understanding of lidos so that these can be enjoyed by communities for years to come.”

Deborah Aydon, People’s Pool founder and Pooling Resources Project Director said: “This investment underlines the importance of our living lido heritage as a uniquely joyous route to community health, well-being, inclusion and social mobility.

“We are deeply grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and to National Lottery Players for this opportunity.”