Saltdean Lido Restoration Update

Date of Meeting:

16 September 2021


Report of:

Executive Director, Economy, Environment &


Contact Officer:


Mark Croston






Ward(s) affected:

Rottingdean Coastal







1.1         The council has sought to achieve the restoration of Saltdean Lido to enable the long-term sustainability of the facility following the surrender from the previous leaseholder in 2011.


Since their appointment as the preferred leaseholder by the council in 2013, Saltdean Lido CIC (SLCIC) has made remarkable progress in achieving the restoration of the outside pools.  In 2020, the council granted a 63-year lease of Saltdean Lido to SLCIC, whilst agreeing to a revised schedule of repayments for an outstanding loan of £0.220m.


1.2         In 2019, SLCIC received the conditional award of a grant of £4.2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) previously the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the restoration of the main building. SLCIC have been given “permission to start” status for the project from NLHF. Planning permission was granted on 5th August 2021.


1.3         The purpose of this report is to update members on the financial arrangements and construction programme for Saltdean Lido, led by SLCIC.



2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    



            That the Committee:

2.1       Notes the content of the report.


2.2       Notes progress made by SLCIC with the restoration project and next steps in appointing a contractor and initiating building works.


2.2       Notes SLCIC have received full permission to start from the NLHF which will enable the restoration of the main Lido building to commence.




3.1         Since 2011 a range of reports on Saltdean Lido have been considered by the Policy & Resources Committee and other committees. These reports are listed  in “Background Documents” at the end of this paper. A summary of the key developments in relation to the Lido over that period are summarised below. An overview of the funding position is detailed in section 7 Financial Implications.


Project Summary


3.2         SLCIC have summarised the full restoration project as:


“To restore Saltdean Lido, the only grade II* listed coastal lido in the country: SLCIC will sympathetically restore the building whilst creating a commercially viable leisure destination. The Lido will become a community resource and tourist attraction with a heated pool and poolside café, children’s pool and wet play area, multi-use function and event space, community space and a library, all incorporating features which interpret and celebrate the heritage of the building. The Lido will be managed by the SLCIC to ensure that the heritage remains protected and accessible to local people. Saltdean Lido will become a national tourist destination, its iconic design social history will be celebrated and visitors will have access to high quality facilities. New employment, volunteering opportunities, and apprenticeships will be created. Our robust Business Plan will ensure a sustainable future for the site and will act as a catalyst for economic growth.”


The restoration is being undertaken in phases:


·                     Phase 1 – which enabled the pools to open in 2017


·                     Phase 2 – Restoration of the main Lido building to commence late 2021


Funding to Completion


3.1         The total cost for this second phase is estimated to be £7.6m. This phase has attracted the grant of £4.2m from NHLF.


3.2         The main building includes a refurbished library with £0.700m of funding already committed by the council.  The library will be relocated during the building works and SLCIC with the council are currently seeking an alternative location.


3.3         SLCIC advise that project is now fully funded, with the council’s recent commitment. Fundraising opportunities are planned that would provide fixtures, fittings and furniture. SLCIC advise that a contingency sum of £500,000 has been allocated to absorb any unforeseen pressures.


3.4         The restoration of the main building will provide a multi-use function and event space together with community space.  This space will be made available for weddings, functions and conference/training type bookings alongside community lets. Additionally, to achieve fixed revenues from the café operation and the gym, subletting is planned.


3.1         The proposals include an extension to the ground floor café, repairs to the roof, repairs to the render and balustrading, reinstatement of the chimney, and new windows and doors.  The uses outlined include leisure, library, community, café/restaurant, function/events and office use.


Construction Programme


3.2         SLCIC’s application for planning permission and listed building consent were unanimously approved the planning committee on 5 August 2021 The target opening of the building is by the end of 2023. To progress Phase 2, the SLCIC programme requires tenders to be issued by the end of August 2021, with a return date in October and appointment in November. This should allow site set up/mobilisation into January 2022. Once tenders are received the programme will set a more specific target date for reopening.


3.3         A landscape designer has been appointed outside of the main contract, with detailed plans in development.  SLCIC are also currently responding to a detailed asbestos report and have gone out to tender for removal before the main contractor moves onto the site. 


3.4         A priority of the Phase 2 works is to make the original 1937 part of the building structurally sound.  The harsh marine environment and use of sea dredged aggregate in the original construction means the building is currently in very poor condition. This would include completion of remediation work to the wings and central rotunda, which is the unique art deco façade that is visible when looking from the A259. 


3.5         The refurbishment of the existing library in the Lido is an essential part of the new community facilities for the Saltdean area.  The library is open 7 days a week and receives around 25,000 visits a year, excluding during the pandemic.  The refurbished library will have slightly enlarged public space, improved facilities and refreshed book stock.  While the refurbishment is taking place, the library will move to a temporary library cabin in the adjacent car park, ensuring continued library provision, although on a more limited basis during the development works. Details to be finalised.


3.6         Dialogue with BHCC planning department and heritage officers continues,  ensuring that conditions are being agreed and updated.


3.7         Council officers are present at all major project meetings providing scrutiny of the progress made and ensuring the council’s aims for the site are being achieved.




Not applicable




4.1         Restoration of important heritage buildings are rarely straightforward, nevertheless, the support for SLCIC in both the local and wider community in the city remains very strong, which is important for the remaining funds to be raised and the restoration to be achieved. The opening of the outside pools in 2017 was well received and well used, which demonstrates the value of the facility to the community.


4.2         SLCIC has a significant membership base and engages regularly with the local community through events and other activities. There has been on-going consultation with the NHLF Case Officer for Saltdean Lido.    


4.3         An activity plan will be introduced when the works commence onsite, with a series of behind-the-scenes hard hat tours. The tours will allow the community and heritage enthusiasts to see the building in its current derelict form, whilst learning about the lido’s social history and the plans to conserve and remediate the listed building.


4.4         In the New Year, further planned activity, including a nationwide appeal for Saltdean Lido images and memorabilia (part of the Lido’s heritage interpretation ‘living history’ hub) will engage further with the community.


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1       The restoration project is continuing to progress, meeting the requirements of all stakeholders, including the NLHF, Historic England and the city council. The achievement of full permission to start status from NLHF is a major step forward.


6.2      SLCIC continue to fundraise to ensure the existing and any future financial pressures are met by either private or trust sources and that no further requests for funding support are made to the city council.




Financial Implications:


7.1         The Saltdean Lido restoration project has been supported financially through a number of decisions agreed at Policy, Resources and Growth committee and Policy & Resources committee.

7.2         Initially the council provided a loan of £0.220m at risk, to support SLCIC in the stage 2 bid resubmission, which was successful in gaining the £4.2m NLHF grant. Loan repayments of £0.160m have been received to date in line with the loan agreement.

7.3         The council’s capital programme also includes both the £0.700m for the replacement library, and the £1.6m funding of underwriting support for the project. The capital costs are funded from borrowing and the financing costs of the borrowing are included in the budget agreed at Budget Council.

7.4         In February 2021, Budget Council approved a further grant to support the project of £1.135m, funded from borrowing, bringing the total capital investment support from the council to £3.435m.

7.5         The Saltdean Lido CIC have commenced drawing down these resources to support the pre-construction work alongside resources provided from NLHF. To date £0.501m has been drawn down based on planned need, quarterly in advance.

7.6         The CIC are due to provide an updated cashflow requirement in September 2021 informed by the latest programme timetable and estimated cost profile from their consultants. Further funding drawdowns will be provided once the updated cashflow is received which will be reviewed each quarter. Funding will be provided quarterly in advance to support their cashflow.

            Finance Officer Consulted:     James Hengeveld                        Date: 04/08/21


Legal Implications:


7.7         The council has put in place a Funding Agreement with the Saltdean Lido CIC in relation to the £1.6m the Council agreed to underwrite. There will need to be some minor variations to this agreement, for example to update the cash flow schedule.  The council is also finalising a new funding agreement in relation to the additional £1.135m agreed at Full Council in February. The 63 year lease of the Lido to the CIC has been completed. The Loan Agreement will also be slightly varied to reflect the agreed repayment schedule.



            Lawyer Consulted:                   Alice Rowland                            Date: 18/8/21


            Equalities Implications:


The council seeks to provide a range of opportunities for residents to participate in sport and community activities across the city and the Lido is recognised as an important part of community leisure provision. A lift is being installed, ramp access where appropriate, DDA compliant toilets and doors.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.8         A restored Lido would include a number of improvements to the environmental sustainability of the building. As well as the concrete restoration that is fundamental to the long-term sustainability of the building, other proposed improvements include enhanced insulation, energy efficient plant, air source heat pumps, photo-voltaic cells, and heat exchange between the main building and the pool.


Brexit Implications:


7.9         None identified.


            Public Health Implications:


7.11    The provision of improved sport and leisure opportunities will benefit the health and well-being of the local community and other visitors.


            Covid-19 Implications


7.12    The long-term impact of the pandemic on the construction industry is currently not known, but the council will continue to work closely with SLCIC to understand the impact as the project develops.











Background Documents


1.         Reports to the Culture, Recreation and Tourism Cabinet Member meeting on 6th December 2011 and 6th March 2012.


2.         Reports to the Policy & Resources Growth Committee on 30th May 2012, 24th January 2013, 5th December 2013, February 2017, 30th November 2017 and 14th February 2019


3.         Reports to the Economic Development & Culture Committee on 20th September 2012 and 19th September 2013


4.         Report to TECC Committee on 18 June 2021


5.            Report to Policy & Resources Committee on 8 July 2021.