HILSEA Lido will make its long-awaited comeback on Saturday – and hundreds of swimmers are expected to help make it a roaring success.
The Portsmouth attraction will open its doors to the public for the first time in six years.
Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust has been working since it took over the venue from the city council in 2010 to help bring it back up to scratch.
And now the trust feels the time is right to welcome back families.
Helen Downing-Emms, the trust’s vice-chairwoman, said: ‘It will be massive for us.
‘This is the day we have all been working towards.
‘There are a group of people here who have been working incredibly hard to achieve this.
‘We haven’t been resting on our laurels.
‘It’s been a seven-days-a-week project and it’s been incredibly difficult.’
Thanks to a plea by The News for lifeguards, the lido now has 10 who are trained and raring to go.
The lido is restricting the amount of people allowed in to 500 – and the trust anticipates it will be at full capacity this weekend. Helen said: ‘We have had phone calls from all over the place and our Facebook page has gone completely barking mad.’
The day will kick off with a synchronised swim by Portsmouth Victoria Synchronised Swimming Club at 11am and the public will be allowed in for a dip afterwards.
Public swimming sessions will start at 2pm and run until 8pm.
Tickets to watch the synchronised swim cost £1 for children and £2 for adults.
To watch the display and go for a swim after, it is £2 for children and £4 for adults.
Public swimming sessions cost £1.50 for kids and £3.50 for adults.
Public sessions will then run from 4pm to 8pm for the rest of the summer.
Should there be a thunderstorm over the weekend, which the Met Office has forecast, then lido visitors will be evacuated.
But rain won’t affect the lido staying open.
Staff from contractors Carillion visited the lido during the restoration project and helped to sand down picnic benches, paint and refurbish the entrance and rebuild walls.
Tracy Nocetti, who co-ordinated Carillion’s volunteers, said: ‘We are proud to support a project that means so much to the local community.’