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CGI images of Valentines Lido in Ilford
Image: Redbridge Council

London’s first new public lido in decades has just been approved

East Londoners will have a brand new swimming spot

India Lawrence
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India Lawrence
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After a long, bleak winter, summer is finally here. And unless you’re the hardiest of cold water swimmers, June means it’s also outdoor swimming season. Yay! Now, we bring good news. Plans have been approved for London to get its first new lido in decades. 

Plans for a potential new lido in Valentines Park in Ilford were first revealed back in 2022. Now, it’s been given the big green light, meaning Ilford residents will soon have a brand new spot for splashing around. Even more exciting, this is the first council-run outdoor swimming pool to be built in the Big Smoke for decades. 

It’s part of an £11 million development of the 52-hectare green space by Redbridge Council. Valentines Park had a previous lido that opened in 1924 and shut in 1995, an era when many similar facilities across London and the UK were closed down for good. 

When completed, the site will feature a 25-metre, six-lane pool, a children’s splash pad, changing facilities, a café, gym, meeting room, dancing and exercise studio, car parking and a picnic area. Building work is set to begin later this year with the pool opening in Autumn 2025 at the earliest. 

Here’s what it could look like. 

Valentines Lido, Ilford
Image: Redbridge Council

If you can’t wait until then, here’s Time Out’s list of the best lidos in the city. And these are the best swimming pools. Or you could check out this newly reopened lido in south London

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