A multi-million pound project designed to transform and restore the Lido at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd continues to make great progress.
The £6.3 million project – which is scheduled to reach completion during summer 2015 – is being implemented to provide the local area with a regional tourist attraction. The restoration of the Grade II Listed Lido is being spearheaded by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council with funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, as well as from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cadw and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
Kier Construction is the main contractor on the project, with Davies Sutton Architects providing architectural services and Hyder the professional services consultant on the scheme.
Discussing the current progress of the project, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Director of Regeneration & Planning, Jane Cook, said:
“We’re into the final phases of the project now, so in terms of the overall construction we are very advanced, with the official opening set to take place during the summer.”
“This is a challenging project, because of the nature of the building, the location of the building and its importance to the community locally and throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf. This project is about creating a facility which is going to be really powerful for the economy of the region.”
Built in 1927, the Pontypridd Lido was constructed to operate as a swimming pool, attracting a wealth of visitors along the way and quickly becoming a genuine destination for all who lived nearby. Following the Second World War, the Lido continued to remain a popular attraction, catering for around 1000 visitors at a time during its peak.
Moving into the 1980s – and due to its age – the Lido began to fall into a state of decline and in 1991 the decision was made to close the facility to the public. In 2014 a scheme to restore and re-open the Lido was put into practice, beginning an impressive restoration programme which promises to provide an attraction that will strengthen the community.
“Construction work began in 2014 but this project has actually been in development for a lot longer. There was a lot of work conducted over the years to secure the funding package.”
During the works, the historic Lido is being restored to a very high standard, with many of the facility’s original features being carefully restored, including the original turnstiles and wooden cubicles. Meanwhile, a number of new facilities are being introduced to the site, including a café, visitor centre, heated changing facilities, internal & external showers and a viewing gallery.
The Lido will include three pools: a main pool, an activities pool and a semi-circular splash pool made specifically for use by small children. All the pools will be heated and will be accompanied by a programme of fun activities.
Wrightfield is responsible for the stainless steel pools on the project. Stainless steel is the ideal choice for the project as it is by far the most durable and trouble-free material available.
A children’s dry play area is also being created in order to accompany the swimming facilities, as well as a visitor centre designed to showcase the history of the Lido. Once the Lido is complete, children aged 12 or under – with an accompanying adult – will benefit from free entry.
“On a personal level working on this project is such a fantastic opportunity because it is such a unique project. My role is to drive schemes which are going to be effective in improving the local economy, so attracting visitors from a wide area within South East Wales, plus the knock-on effects the Lido will have to the town centre and beyond, is the real impetus for me.”
For more details about the restoration of the Pontypridd Lido, please visit: www.pontypriddlido.co.uk.