After years of declining popularity, London’s lidos and outdoor swimming pools have had a real renaissance in recent years, with many of these classic leisure facilities getting fancy refurbs, heating and all sorts. The last couple of years of travel restrictions have also been a real shot in the arm for our domestic venues. Now, in a bold new step, one London council has announced the construction of a whole new lido.
The new lido is in Valentines Park in Ilford (quiet, you at the back muttering about how ‘that’s not London’). 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. So it’s a symbolic space and initiative, and chimes with the council’s commitment to making the borough ‘a cleaner, greener, healthier and safer place’.
It’s a good time to be a Redbridge resident, with other council proposals including £15m in town-centre regeneration, £2m on public loos, £5m on street repairs, £16m on schools and £80m to build new affordable homes.
Which is all great, of course, but the jewel in the Redbridge crown is most definitely the spanking new 25m lido in Valentines Park. Councils of the rest of London: take note!