Portsmouth campaigners still hope to secure £2m grant for Hilsea Lido overhaul

AMBITIOUS plans to revitalise an outdoor swimming centre and create a new cultural arts hub are still on the cards, an MP has insisted.

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 11:16 am
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 10:05 am
A bid worth 2m could help to transform the Hilsea Lido. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180702-1)

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, has said efforts to secure a grant worth more than £2m to overhaul the Hilsea Lido are still progressing.

The Tory MP joined with campaigners last year to submit the proposal to the coastal communities funding, which they are still waiting to hear back on.

It’s hoped that if the city secures the windfall, it would help to revamp the ageing Lido and fund the creation of a new performing arts hub  – which Ms Mordaunt said would include an outdoor cinema.

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The international development secretary said: ‘If we get the money, this will not just be the most amazing leisure facility for the north of the city but it will stimulate employment, create jobs and it will also provide some more education facilities.

‘Everyone needs to keep their fingers crossed.’

As previously reported, the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust’s bid reached the final round of the coastal communities funding application process.

If successful, more than £2m will be given to the trust to renovate the historic site, with plans to regenerate the pool, diving boards, cascades and buildings.

Speaking to The News after the bid was submitted, Sabrina Richards, of the people’s trust, said: ‘This is an exciting time for all of us. We know that Hilsea Lido is far more than just a swimming pool.

‘If successful, the coastal communities funding would be another step in reinstating Hilsea Lido as a premier venue at the heart of the community.’

Ms Mordaunt added she was ‘lobbying very hard’ to secure the cash and said everyone had ‘rallying together’.

She said the project would be key to unlocking the potential of the north of the city, which she felt still needed more investment.

‘The whole city has really got back on its feet over the last 10 years but in the north we still need more things that are going to enhance the quality of life for people here,’ Ms Mordaunt added.

‘The Lido has always been too tough to tackle but we have kept it going, brought it back to life with the amazing Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust but now it needs a proper facelift with proper facilities that are really going to attract the crowds back.’

The result of the funding bid is expected to be announced later this year.