Pontypridd, about twelve miles from Cardiff, will soon see the redevelopment of its Grade II listed lido that has been neglected for over twenty years. Originally opened in 1927, Pontypridd Lido is one of the best preserved examples of its kind in the Arts and Crafts style. The building is to be redesigned by Capita Symonds and reopened in a £6.2 million project that hopes to draw more visitors to this former industrial town. The refurbishment, however, slightly changes the original building’s programme in an attempt to prevent a similar decline that eventually led to its closure in 1988. Instead, the lido will retain its swimming facilities but it will also have a museum, community and cultural element that aims to display the history of the lido and the area in the 1920s – a time when several hundred lidos were built across the UK in the effort to improve public access to light, air and openness for health reasons. In another move to make outdoor swimming more attractive today, the newly inserted pools will be heated.
The project has recently received a £2.3 million financial boost by the Heritage Lottery Fund.