The Saltdean Lido in Brighton recently held its first ever Dog Swim Day!
The Lido invited dogs and their owners to enjoy some fun before its doors were closed for the year. The soggy doggies had a wonderful day!
Canine Swimming Rules
All dogs had to be accompanied by an adult and no kids were allowed in the water for safety reasons. The pool was quickly full of excited pooches including boxers, Labradors and German shepherds. Some of the dogs were happy to swim solo whilst others were joined in the water by their owners. The dogs which swam alone had to be on a lead. Owners were obliged to clean up any unfortunate messes which transpired!
The dogs were permitted to pay with soft toys but the lido announced that it couldn’t be responsible for any thefts!
Saltdean Lido first opened in 1938. After just three years, the pool was closed until 1964.
During the Second World War, the National Fire Service used the pool as a water tank and the lido grounds for training. The pool reopened but eventually fell into disrepair and closed once more. The site had been earmarked for redevelopment into flats in recent times. But Brighton and Hove City Council agreed to take back control of the site after a community campaign to save it. A 60-year lease was granted to Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (CIC) in May 2012 with a view to restoring the facilities.
Art Deco Beauty
Saltdean Lido is one of the finest remaining examples of modernist lidos in the UK and features the striking Art Deco style of architecture. The pool was renovated and reopened in June 2017. Now, the building must be also renovated. CIC are working with the Heritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery) to secure £4.5 million for the project whilst Brighton & Hove Council has pledged £700,000. But a funding gap in excess of £2 million remains. Efforts are ongoing to raise more money.
Jobs and Investment
The renovated pool will continue to create new jobs and to attract investment to the area. The local residents have always treasured the heritage of the lido which has is an an iconic feature of the town. The building is Grade II listed and on the English Heritage At Risk Register. The pool now has heated water for the first time since 1940. Phase 2 of the development will see the main building restored back to its former glory. It will feature a restaurant and events space, community spaces and a library. It is anticipated that if funding is secured by Summer 2018, the building will re-open by 2021.
Dogs and Publicity
In the meantime, events like the innovative doggy swim day will raise the profile of the lido and introduce people to the facilities. The swim was a wonderful idea and one which was certainly popular with the canine visitors who were lucky enough to attend. Hopefully the swims will be held every year!