A century after the first one was built, Ilford’s Valentines Park could be getting a replacement outdoor swimming pool to replace the Lido that was demolished in 1995.

Early concept image (c) Redbridge Council

The former lido was built by Ilford Urban District Council in 1923-4 on a site that had previously been a gravel pit in the eastern corner of Valentine’s Park and was in use up to 1994 and demolished in 1995. Since demolished, the area is now just an expanse of open grass in the park.

Now Redbridge Council is proposing to build a new lido, subject to planning approval and a consultation, which will open shortly. The plan is for the new lido to be built close to the original, which was at the top of Brisbane Road, near the current Forest Garden and tennis courts.

If built, it’ll be a 25-metre long swimming pool with six lanes, along with a children’s splash pad, changing facilities, a gym, a dance and exercise studio, a cafe and a picnic area. That does mean that the new swimming pool is about half the size of the one it’s replacing. It’s also going to be required to be self-funding, so admission fees will need to cover the running costs.

Redbridge council map of the new Lido location, with an extract from 1946 OS map showing the old Lido

Cllr Kam Rai, Deputy Leader of Redbridge Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration said “The new lido will provide a sustainable, fun, and social place for people to exercise in the great outdoors, while boosting our local economy and restoring the heritage of Valentines Park. As well as a new swimming pool, we’re proposing to create a splashpad for children, a café, a gym, and studio space so Valentines Park can become a hub for our local communities to meet, exercise and enjoy.”

Details are here.


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