Arundel Lido launches urgent appeal after demolishing unsafe changing rooms

Wooden changing rooms at Arundel Lido have had to be dismantled as unsafe and an urgent campaign to raise just over £33,500 to replace them has been launched.

Thanks to a large donation from Inspire Community Leisure Trust and pre-campaign fundraising events by Arundel and Downland Community Leisure Trust, which runs the lido, the £20,000 mark has already been passed.

Arundel Lido has launched a Change for the Community campaign

Arundel Lido has launched a Change for the Community campaign

But more help is needed, with just two months left to raise the balance.

Nikki Richardson, Arundel Lido manager, said: “We urgently need to provide safe, secure and accessible changing rooms to ensure the future of Arundel Lido. Our old changing huts are no longer fit for use, some have had to be dismantled as unsafe.

“During the 2018 season, more than 38,000 swimmers visited Arundel Lido, a whopping average of 300 visitors each day. Yet currently, we have only one family changing room and six small wooden sheds, which have been in place over ten years.

“It is due to the amazing efforts of our community that Arundel Lido is still going. The site was saved by a group of locals in 2002. Arundel and Downland Community Leisure Trust was registered as a charity and has successfully run the lido ever since.

“We now need more help from our community to secure the future of our site. We urgently need our community to pull together to get the first stage of our renovations ready for the 2020 summer season.”

The Arundel Lido Change for the Community campaign is separate to Project LEAP, which will provide a new all-year-round facility, and the huts will remain as a permanent structure, helping to retain the traditional feel of the lido in the future.

The trust works with several local schools, adult day services, special education schools, parent and toddler groups, home educated children and retired adults in sessions out of public opening hours.

Nikki said: “They all attend the lido not only for the pools but knowing that the site is safe and secure.

“With the excitement of Project LEAP looming, our new all-year-round facility including a gym, community hall, café, internal changing facilities and extended swim season, and changing hut planning permission approved, the specifically designed changing and storage huts will enhance the design of the new building, retain the views and provide, most importantly, accessible external changing facilities for the community.

“All planned site improvements will provide essential accessible facilities, especially for families and young people with additional needs, allowing the trust to continue to provide a high-quality service to accommodate all our customers’ requirements.”

The project will also provide essential storage facilities, ready for the start of the new swim season in May 2020.

The trust’s crowdfunding campaign will run until January 3, 2020, and if strong backing from the community can be demonstrated, West Sussex County Council will provide £5,000 towards the cost, through West Sussex Crowd. Visit www.spacehive.com/arundel-lido-change-for-the-community for more information.

Fundraising events include a sparkling afternoon tea at Belinda’s Tea Rooms in Arundel on Friday, November 22, at 4pm. Tickets £15. To book, call Nikki on 01903 884772 or email manager@arundel-lido.com.

South Downs National Park Authority granted permission last June for a new building comprising gym, multi-function hall, heated changing rooms and indoor café, subject to conditions.