Put a smile on the façade of the Lido this Christmas

Could you bring the Winchester Lido Sports Association some festive cheer? The charity, which owns and manages the Lido in Hyde, hopes to restore the building to its former glory – but your help is needed.

The Lido and its Sports Club were built in 1934. The beautiful outdoor pool was the hub of the city until its demolition in the late 1970s, while the clubhouse was rescued from the same fate by a group of local volunteers. The building has served the community for many years – as a dance hall, bingo hall and music venue (famously hosting the Rolling Stones in 1963). It now houses a sports hall for badminton, fitness classes and other activities, and a matted martial arts facility or “dojo”.

This historic venue remains an important and valued community sports facility, but it is costly to maintain and now needs significant refurbishment. Most urgently, the Palladian-style façade of the building, which faces Worthy Lane, must be restored. Currently, timbers are rotting away and masonry is cracked, so there is a risk of further damage to the building if action is not taken.

The Association’s chair, Francis Burgess, said:

We know how important the Lido is to local people, and we take our role as its custodians very seriously. We’ve built up good reserves to help fund the restoration, but COVID-19 has taken its toll and we can’t rely on the charity’s finances alone. We’re asking the community for support, so we can keep the building going for many years to come.

The charity has launched a crowdfunding campaign with a target of £4000 (around 10% of the funds required for the restoration). Donors can choose from a wide range of rewards, including a 3-course meal with wine for four people at Rick Stein’s restaurant, a self-defence course, a one-to-one personal training session, a gift box from Alfred’s Brewery, and membership and court hire packages from the Lido itself.

The Lido crowdfunding page can be found at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/heritage-facade-restoration-project  Any local businesses wishing to offer rewards should contact the charity via its Facebook page or on winchesterlidocomms@gmail.com


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