Restoration begins at iconic 1930s Saltdean Lido

Restoration begins at iconic 1930s Saltdean Lido

Saltdean Pool being enjoyed by the community after restoration in 2017
A £7.5million restoration project has begun to bring Saltdean Lido in East Sussex back to its former glory, thanks in part to investment from the Heritage Fund.

In the 1930s, Saltdean Lido's Art Deco building would have been bustling with Brighton locals and tourists enjoying the fashionable seaside resort.

The pool is still much-loved, but the building has fallen into disrepair. Thanks to the efforts of the local community and funding partners including the Heritage Fund, it will now be saved from the Heritage at Risk Register.

Bringing new life to this unique building will create a destination venue for visitors.

Derek Leaver, Chair, Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company

Designed by the architect Richard Jones, the Art Deco lido is of great historic importance. It is one of just three Grade II* listed lidos in the country.

The project has now begun to restore the lido building thanks to:

  • £4.2m from the Heritage Fund
  • £215,000 from Historic England
  • £2.5m from Brighton & Hove City Council

It is however the local community that was integral in raising the remaining funds needed to protect Saltdean Lido for future generations.

Restoration begins at Saltdean Lido building
Photo credit: Saltdean Lido CIC

Community at the heart of this campaign

In 2010, Saltdean Lido’s leaseholder wanted to fill in the pool and build 102 apartments on this historic site.

In response, volunteers set up the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company (CIC) and campaigned tirelessly to restore the lido, which reopened in 2017. They also campaigned to find the additional funds to restore the building.

Derek Leaver, Chair, Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company said: “Bringing new life to this unique building will create a destination venue for visitors to come and enjoy all that the 1930s Art Deco lido movement promised, while also serving to be a vibrant community hub."

Historic image of Saltdean Lido in heyday
Photo credit: Saltdean Lido CIC

The final vision

The restored site will include:

  • poolside café
  • library
  • Art Deco ballroom
  • exercise studio
  • shared workspace facilities
  • community rooms

It will also have a heritage and learning space to tell the story of Saltdean Lido’s unique social history and celebrate its role in the golden age of the lido movement.

Stuart McLeod, the Heritage Fund Director, England, London & South, said: “This community-led project has saved this important Grade II* listed lido and will ensure it can be enjoyed by visitors and its local community for many years to come.”

The restoration is expected to be completed by summer 2023. You can follow the progress on Saltdean Lido’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Saltdean Lido Pool and Building
Photo credit: Saltdean Lido CIC

Find out more

Find out more about projects we have funded in London and the south of England.

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