The long lease enables the Lido to continue to plan for the future and make it easier to secure external funding.
Cabinet member for culture, wellbeing and business Councillor Victoria Atherstone said: ‘’The Lido is a wonderful recreational asset in our town, enjoyed by so many, of all ages, all year round. We’re delighted the new 35 year lease has been agreed, this places the Trust in a strong position to plan for the future.
‘’Its members and visitors love the physical activity of outdoor swimming and the added benefits of social interaction with its welcoming community spirit. The council values the heritage of our town and know that Cheltenham people do too, which is why we work hard with partners like the Trust to preserve our local heritage assets like the Lido. We recognise the superb work of the Sandford Parks Lido Trust, and thank the Trustees, CEO and team for their efforts to ensure the Lido bounces back from the impact of the pandemic.’’
Julie Sargent, Sandford Parks Lido chief executive officer (CEO) said: “We are delighted that Cheltenham Borough Council have provided us with a lease agreement which will help protect the lido and most importantly allow us to attract some much needed funding so we can continue to improve the lido for our community and visitors to Gloucestershire. Whilst we can’t fully celebrate at the moment, it’s important that we share this amazing news with our community and thank everyone for their continued support as we know many of our customers have been extremely worried that their lido could be lost. I’d also like to thank Cheltenham Borough Council for providing a lease which will enable the lido to continue to thrive once we’re all through the current pandemic.”
Sandford Parks Lido was first opened in 1935. Originally the land was owned by Cheltenham College and was purchased by Cheltenham Borough Council for use as allotments in 1927. The first proposal was heard at a Council meeting to suggest that the town would benefit greatly if they built a lido. The Council committee was split, half fully aware of the benefits it would bring not only to the local community but also for visitors. However, there were grave concerns over committing such expense at a time when the country was struggling with financial depression and mass unemployment. It was finally decided favourably by a majority vote and the Council sought a loan from the Ministry for Health. Work Started in late autumn of 1934, which was hard physical labour carried out during the worst weather months of the year. The Project was completed in early 1935 and was officially opened by the Mayor.