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West Berkshire Council seeking views on Northcroft Lido and leisure centre upgrade



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WATER slides and a splash zone could be making waves at Newbury's Northcroft Lido as part of a £4m investment.

West Berkshire Council is looking to make a splash at the popular lido, the largest outdoor pool in Berkshire, to fix structural issues which could extend its opening from Easter through to autumn.

The council said that the area around the 72m heated outdoor pool could be better used and has drawn up proposals including a children's interactive splash pad, changing cubicles and lockers by the pool, and a sun-terrace and relaxation space.

Artists Impression of one of the options for upgrading Northcroft Lido (49661407)
Artists Impression of one of the options for upgrading Northcroft Lido (49661407)

West Berkshire’s executive member for leisure and culture, Howard Woollaston (Con, Lambourn) said: “The lido is a wonderful facility and there are so many things we could do to make it even better.

“The area surrounding the pool is currently underutilised. We have some ideas on this and would like your views on what we could do.

“We need a clear steer from everyone about what would improve it for them. We’re asking people who either live in West Berkshire, travel there to work or visit the area to fill in a short survey. These views will help us make the best of this unique facility for future generations.”

Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 29-1721. (49435923)
Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 29-1721. (49435923)

The lido is a sticking point for swimmers as its opening is frequently delayed.

First built as an unheated pool in August 1870 and completely rebuilt in 1937, the lido is affected by ground water levels which have undermined the integrity of the structure.

The council said it could not guarantee when the lido would open following heavy spring rains because the ground level became too high and maintenance couldn't be carried out until the level is lower than the pool.

Mr Woollaston said that the lido was "out of date" and had "major structural issues" but the council had "exciting plans to bring it up to the current century."

Artists Impression of one of the options for upgrading Northcroft Lido (49661400)
Artists Impression of one of the options for upgrading Northcroft Lido (49661400)

He added: "The structure has basically had it. We can only open for two months of the year, which is unacceptable."

The council is asking for residents views on three options for the site, all of which include reducing the length and depth of the lido.

The first would result in the lido being reduced to 50m in length and installing a racer slide, splash pad and climbing frame at the southern end of the site.

Opening day at Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 25-0621... (48438822)
Opening day at Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 25-0621... (48438822)

Option two includes a 50m pool with a toddler pool, splash pad and high ropes, while the third features a 71 metre pool with splash pad.

The council said that the lido's maximum depth of 2.8m would need to be reduced to 1.5m to remove the pressure and impact from the ground water on the structure.

Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 29-1721. (49435947)
Northcroft Leisure Centre Lido .Ref: 29-1721. (49435947)

The 10-minute survey is open until midnight on Sunday, September 5 and can be completed at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NorthcroftLidoDevelopment

The council will be holding a webinar at 5pm on Tuesday, August 3 to discuss the proposals and answer questions.

Register for the event on YouTube at https://westberks-gov-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wE1QbZL8Ts6vP8gUlGMFLA

Questions can be submitted beforehand to pr@westberks.gov.uk by midday tomorrow (Friday, July 30).



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