Pontypridd £4m Lido Building Plan

Friday, 30th March 2012
    The reopening of a Grade II-listed lido in Pontypridd will help bring people back into the town, it is claimed. The plans include three new pools, a cafe, learning spaces and restoration of the original buildings. The open air swimming pool once accommodated up to 1,000 people in its heyday but fell into decline in the 1980s and eventually closed in 1991.   The scheme is part of a major regeneration of Pontypridd to improve the look of the market town and help it attract more private investment. Rhondda Cynon Taf council says the £4m scheme, part of the on-going regeneration of the town, will boost visitor numbers.   The council drew up initial restoration plans four years ago and secured £75,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2010 to further develop the project. A bid for more lottery cash is expected to be made in the spring which, if successful, would provide the bulk of the funding, alongside other sources such as Welsh heritage body Cadw and RCT council itself.   Brian Davies, secretary of Pontypridd Historical Society, said the challenge was to retain the original character of the lido while making it appealing to a modern visitor. "The architect thought 'let's create a Roman baths for the people of Pontypridd' - single-storey buildings, red pantile roofs, verandas. You look at reconstructions of [Roman] Caerleon and it's like that," he said.   "The original idea of giving the people of Pontypridd a Roman baths seems to me to be a nice idea. I don't see any reason why a building like that can't be saved and, at the same time, successfully adapted.   Building work is also continuing to replace the town's rundown Taff Vale precinct with a modern shopping centre, anchored by high street chain Wilkinson.   LIDO PLANS