A New Newbury Lido
Work to renovate the Lido at Northcroft Leisure Centre is complete and it opened to the public in Summer 2023. It is now closed for winter but will open in Spring 2024.
The £5.7 million project, which has secured the future of one of West Berkshire's most loved leisure facilities, was given the thumbs up following extensive consultation with local people on how they'd like to see their Lido developed and updated.
Residents favoured the creation of a new 50 metre Olympic length pool, which has been developed alongside additional interactive water play features for children and young people. There are also more changing cubicles within the grounds including improved and accessible changing facilities.
Without this investment, the lido would have been at risk of closure as it needed important structural work. Now, the outdoor swimming season will increase to a period of six months, from Easter through to September.
The new pool profile will enable a greater range of water based exercise to increase fitness and improve wellbeing. It will also allow competitive swimmers to train in an Olympic length pool.
The investment is projected to increase usage from the current levels of 15-20,000 visits per annum, to over 50,000 across the six month opening period, providing further opportunities for physical activity across West Berkshire. The refurbishment is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will ensure that the Lido is here for many future generations to enjoy.
A historic feature
The Lido is embedded in the history of Newbury. Heritage records show that the large rectangular outdoor pool originated in the late 19th century and can be seen on the First Edition Ordnance Survey mapping of 1880-1881. The pool was enlarged in 1914 and completely rebuilt and converted to a Lido in 1937, when it was said to be the largest pool in the south of England at 70 metres long. The Newbury weekly News of 4 August 1870 includes the dimensions of the basin itself as 240ft in length, "the whole extent is 254ft x 40ft".
In 1967, it was transformed into a more organised Lido complex with an adjacent 'baby pool'.
Click here to read more about it in the full Heritage Report.
There's lots going on at the Lido site and you can see our video updates here.
|Historic Lido Images|
Northcroft Outdoor pool, c.1960, looking west
General view of Northcroft Swimming pool area, c.1960, looking south
General view of virtually the whole pool area at Northcroft Outdoor pool and the Manager's house in the background, looking west. C.1960
Black and white photo of children in the outside pool at Northcroft, looking west. 1950s
Black and white photograph of the Northcroft outdoor pool construction, showing two workers digging. They may be adding heating to the pool.
Black and white photograph of the Northcroft outdoor pool construction. This may be to add heating to the pool.
|Digital Images Courtesy of West Berkshire Museum|