Lido Improvement Project news update

Planning approved

24 July 2020
We are pleased to announce that planning permission has been granted for the new electricity substation at Tooting Bec Lido. This is a vital step on the way to restoring the pump room and safeguarding the future of the Lido. We now need to apply for permission from the Secretary of State to build the substation as the Lido is on common land.

National Lottery funded project restores Tooting Bec Lido’s historic landmark features

1 August 2019
Lico doorsThanks to National Lottery players, Tooting Bec Lido’s important landmark heritage features have been restored and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

The three-year project has seen the lido undergo a series of facelifts and refurbishments to preserve some of its most striking assets. Chief among these has been the work carried out to the changing cubicles which line both sides of the lido – which at 91.5 metres in length is the UK’s biggest open-air freshwater swimming pool.
Link to full article.

The Lido Pavilion unveiled

June 2017
Former SLSC President Giles Meyer tells the story of the new Lido Pavilion, which opens this Autumn.

Way back in 2011, the South London Swimming Club started a process of consultation with members to explore how we could best spend the reserves we had accumulated, in a way that would help secure the long-term future of both the Lido and the Club. So began the seven-year gestation of the new building at the deep end of the pool.

We only had about 60% of the money needed for the building, so our first job was to secure funding for the rest. This led to a successful application to Sport England for £250,000, and Wandsworth Borough Council have provided the remainder.

Following a tender process, we appointed David Gibson Architects to design the Pavilion, with club member Rob Hughes as lead architect. We soon had a design that the Club and the local community were happy with.

The old arches were taken down brick by brick, so that they could be rebuilt as the final stage of the project, and in spring 2016 our appointed contractors, Wandsworth Operational Services, started work on the Pavilion itself. Lidp Pavilion entrance The Lido Pavilion will serve many purposes. It has a sports studio overlooking the pool, which will be a light and attractive area for events and activities. This space will also be used for classes, workshops and general hire. There is a new lifeguards’ room and a first aid room. SLSC will have an office – our first concrete home at the Lido. Add in a kitchen, toilets and changing rooms, and you have a dynamic new building that will serve both the Club and the community for years to come.

Once the Pavilion is open, improvement work will continue on site. The arches will be rebuilt to create an aesthetic frontage onto Tooting Common. There will be a new sunbathing deck where the current benches are on the Common side, which is the best place for catching the sun in the early morning and on winter days. The pump room will have viewing windows so that everyone can see how the filtration machinery works – and how old it is!

With all these changes, we are confident that the site will be a wonderful asset for the next generation of members. We very much look forward to the opening, and inviting you to see it for yourself.

Work starts on Lido Pavilion

June 2016
Construction work on the Lido Pavilion project began in June and should be finished in March 2017. The Lido is expected to remain open throughout the building work, so winter swimming will not be affected.

The Lido Pavilion project, which will transform the deep end of the Lido, is jointly funded by the South London Swimming Club, Sports England and Wandsworth Borough Council. It will enable SLSC members and the Lido community as a whole to enjoy a wider range of sporting activities at the Lido.

As well as being a venue for fitness and sports classes, the Pavilion will serve as headquarters for SLSC events, allowing us to run top-notch aquathlons, triathlons and galas. An opening party is planned for spring 2017.

Work to start on New Pavilion

By Giles Meyer - SLSC President

December 2015
If I had a pound for every time someone had asked me, “When will the building work start?” I would be able to finance the Lido Improvement Project myself by now. So I am very pleased to announce that the work is about to begin.

We hope all the effort that has already taken place behind the scenes will result in a building we can all be proud of, and which has the full support of the local community. In recent months we have been:

  • Gaining planning permission. As the building will be on common land, it was necessary to obtain this from both Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) and the Secretary of State, who took account of the environmental considerations, ensuring the building will enhance the Lido and Tooting Common as a whole.
  • Raising the necessary funds through South London Swimming Club (SLSC) reserves, Sport England, The Heritage Lottery Fund and WBC. This means the finance is in place for us to make the most of the space available and create a building of real quality, which will last the test of time.
  • Producing a detailed design specification of the building. This has been sent to five companies that have expressed an interest in tendering and we should have their responses in January.

Lido Pavilion The project team, which meets every month, consists of myself (SLSC President), Jenny Barker (Treasurer), Margy Sullivan (committee member), Susan Venner (club member, an architect), Rob Hughes (architect for the project, from David Gibson Architects) and Simon Ingyon (Head of Leisure and Parks at WBC). While many decisions have been delegated to this group, I report back to the SLSC committee, elected by Club members, which has the final say.

When the tender for the building was issued, it was agreed to begin the demolition of the current deep-end entrance. This will begin in December and will be completed by the middle of February, when we hope the preferred construction company will start on site. It is estimated that work will take most of 2016, with the new building opening in time for the Cold Water Swimming Championships in January 2017.

The cost of the project will be almost £900,000, compared with the original estimate of £700,000. This is a result of increases in the cost of building materials over the last two years, changes made in consultation with Sport England to ensure the building meets their guidelines, and additions to the original specification to ensure the building is truly multi-functional. It has been agreed that the extra cost will be met by the SLSC and WBC, through additional money that has been raised from reserves because of the favourable terms we enjoy as part of our new contract with WBC.

After discussions with the demolition contractors, People for Places and WBC, it has been decided that we will use the shallow-end entrance throughout the time that work is taking place, starting on Sunday 6 December. This will speed up the demolition and construction work and make it easier for the lifeguards to manage the site. We will keep you informed of progress over the coming months, but are pleased that there will soon be more visible signs of the work that has been going into the project.

Increased focus on the Lido’s history

December 2015
To complement the new Lido Pavilion SLSC plans to highlight the historical features of the Lido as part of Wandsworth Council’s Tooting Common Heritage Project. To guide the improvements the SLSC have developed the Lido heritage plan.

Lido Pavilion approved

June 2015
The building of the new Lido Pavilion at the deep end of the pool was finally approved by Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at the beginning of May. This was necessary as the Lido is on common land and any building requires ministerial consent. Having met all the planning requirements, and with funding in place from Sport England, Wandsworth Council and SLSC reserves, we are now seeking tenders for construction of the Pavilion. Work is expected to start at the end of the year with completion next autumn. The Lido will remain open throughout and winter swimming will not be affected.

The Lido Pavilion

By Giles Meyer - SLSC President

April 2014
We are delighted to announce that all the necessary funding for the redevelopment at the deep end of the Lido and the construction of the new Lido Pavilion is now in place. As well as the commitments from the South London Swimming Club (SLSC), Wandsworth Council and Sport England, we are pleased to confirm that we have been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund,HLF logo which will allow us to improve and conserve Tooting Bec Lido’s heritage features.

The Heritage Lottery Fund award is part of an initial grant to the Tooting Common Heritage Project, which aims to explore and preserve the cultural and natural heritage of Tooting Common. The money will be used to restore biodiversity and habitats, conserve heritage features, teach people about the Common’s rich past and environment and provide volunteering opportunities. We will work in partnership with the Project to preserve the Lido’s heritage features. Proposals include the reconstruction of the three arches that stand at the deep-end entrance as a memorial to the Reverend John Hendry Anderson, whose idea it was to build the Lido, the refurbishment of the cubicles and shelter, the extension of the west-side seating terrace and new cycle parking. We also plan to install windows in the plant room wall and provide interpretation panels, so that visitors will be able to see the machinery that pumps and cleans the million gallons of water in the Lido.

March 2014
We are delighted to announce that we have secured a grant of £248,500 from Sport England’s Improvement Fund to help finance the redevelopment of the deep end of the Lido. The National Lottery-funded investment is awarded to projects that improve grassroots sport facilities in an environmentally sustainable way.

The new building will allow better provision of a variety of sporting activities at the Lido for SLSC members and the local community. As well as being a venue for fitness and sports classes, the new building will also serve as headquarters for SLSC events, allowing us to run top-notch aquathlons, triathlons and galas.