Cash to keep library open during Saltdean Lido revamp

Saltdean Lido
Saltdean Lido

The restoration of Saltdean Lido could benefit from £700,000 of council funding which would be used to replace the public library within the building.

A report on the proposal is going to the next meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s policy, resources and growth committee meeting on Thursday (February 9).

The city council said as the restoration project would require demolition of an extension housing Saltdean Library, the cash would pay for a temporary facility to ensure library services were uninterrupted, as well as an extension providing permanent library facilities.

The £700,000 it is offering would be secured by borrowing and it is included in the council budget for 2018/19.

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of the city council, said: “This grant would do two very important things. It would assist restoration of Saltdean Lido, a nationally-important Art Deco building, providing jobs, community and leisure facilities and a new tourist attraction.

“It would also ensure library services are not interrupted by building works and upgrade Saltdean Library as part of a programme to improve neighbourhood libraries all over the city. That bucks a national trend for councils to close libraries.”

Saltdean Lido is currently undergoing a £12 million restoration, and its pools are expected to reopen this summer.

Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (SLCIC), which was selected by the council and the preferred bidder for the site in 2013, won a £2.3m grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund in January 2015. This is being used to restore the main pool and children’s pool, provide water heating and landscape outdoor areas. Around £170,000 that the council secured from the firm which turned Saltdean’s former Grand Ocean Hotel into flats has also gone into the works.

A further grant of £576,000 was won by the CIC from the Heritage Lottery Fund in February 2015. This has been used to work up detailed plans for a £4.2m Lottery bid towards restoring the main Grade II* listed building, dating from 1937. A result is expected in March.

The committee is also being recommended in the report to grant the CIC a 60-year lease on the entire Lido building and grounds, subject to various conditions being met. Further sources of funding would then need to be found.