Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Northampton's Missing Lido

**Updated the petition is LIVE.  Please sign & Share**

http://chng.it/gkWtNM7sCr

If you follow me on Facebook you will have seen I'm currently a little obsessed with water.  I have been enjoying many River Nene walks with the kids, which are lovely, but the kids want to swim! Every summer I get frustrated by the lack of swimming/splash park venues in Northampton (Northamptonshire). For such a large shire (we have a population of 750,000) and being so far from the sea we have very little in the way of outdoor swimming establishments. I love the idea of resurrecting a lido and putting Northampton back on the outdoor swimming map!

I have googled like a demon and we have nothing! We have the lovely Wellingborough Embankment Splash park and that is it.  There are obviously some private outdoor pools such as Overstone but nothing available to the public.

I honestly believe a Northampton Lido would be a huge benefit to the town.  With careful placement could also entice people to other places and create jobs.  There are 130 lidos in Great Britain which are surviving and some are absolutely thriving. I know it would need a huge cash investment but it could then be a real gem for the town.  Community events could be held, swimming lessons for kids and health benefits for all. Am I selling it to you? Would you be a local customer? 

Northampton Lido should we have one?

In my hours of research I found that Midsummer Meadow had a Lido from 1908 to 1983 when it was emptied and demolished.  The old site is now a car park. It would be an amazing place to have a new Northampton Lido.  People could be encouraged to walk into town via the River Nene.  In my wildest thoughts what about the old bus station plot? It would be accessible to all (as obviously not everyone drives).  Wouldn't be the prettiest location but could boost town footfall and actually use the current dustbowl. Another possibility is out of Northampton itself and to Daventry which used to have a popular outdoor pool and was also turned into a car park! Maybe one of our existing venues such as Wicksteed Park or Billing Aquadrome would like to invest and open an outdoor pool.  Billing Aquadrome used to have one and Wicksteed used to have a paddle pool both have sadly been demolished.

A heated pool would secure the most revenue as would be used even on colder days but obviously has a higher running cost.  Most are open from March to October but many, especially in London, operate all year.

I checked the Northamptonshire County Council website and you can petition but you need to be very clear. A full council debate would happen if you get 2.5% of the population to sign (based on 2001 census).  I couldn't find the 2001 population figure and no idea why they base it on those records but based on the current population of 750,000 it would need 18,750 signatures. Do we think we could get that many people interested in a Northampton Lido?

For now with no outdoor swimming pools available I'll leave you with a list of our nearest.  Obviously in the current climate not all are open.

Eversholt Swimming Pool, MK17 9DS. Volunteer run, heated, seasonal, parking on site and snack kiosk.  Approx 29 miles

Woburn Lido, MK17 9QG.  Independent trust, heated, seasonal, parking opposite at village hall and snack kiosk. Approx 29 miles

Woburn Lido
Credit Woburn Lido

Woodgreen Leisure Centre, OX16 0HS.  Corporate run on behalf of council, heated, seasonal, parking on site and snack kiosk. Approx 33 miles

Hitchin Swimming Centre, SG5 1HA.  Corporate run on behalf of council, heated, seasonal, parking on site and cafe. Approx 43 miles

Chipping Norton Lido, OX7 5BZ.  Volunteer run, heated, seasonal, limited on site parking but several free public car parks in town and cafe. Approx 44 miles.

Peterborough Lido, PE1 1YY.  Corporate run on behalf of the council, heated, seasonal, parking on site and cafe. Approx 43 miles.


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10 comments

  1. I love the idea of a Lido you're so right, i have been wild swimming but its very hard to do alone. Especially with the current clikate outdoor swimming is the way to go!

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  2. I would love a Lido in Northampton. I am a keen swimmer and would love swimming outside

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  3. I love the idea of a lido I’m Northampton, growing up in Australia swimming outdoors is something I really miss! I make the journey up to Peterborough but would love to see one in Northampton. With the growing demand for outdoor swimming for health and well-being I think we might have a chance!

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  4. We definitely need a Lido. I have spent hours trying to find s place to swim, especially with current pandemic. I grew up in the Caribbean and miss outdoor swimming, it is needed for mental health reasons too. Germany also has village outdoor swimming pools,been in the mountains in the south, for the benefit of the locals. Why not in the UK as well? If there were an outdoor pool in Northampton, I would the first in the queue. It's very difficult having to adjust to I door swimming and to be restricted to when you can go due to classes being held.

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  5. I love the idea off an outside pool I use th go there when I was a lot younger loved it I also use to get a bus and go to billing aqudrome out door swimming omg what good time and take an picnic my grandchildren would love and so would I I’m 63 now I would use it and so would the kiddies now fight for it people

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  6. The idea of a lido is great, I am a keen swimmer and am constantly frustrated by the general lack of pool space in Northampton. The time seems right given the way perceptions on indoor spaces have changed following the pandemic. Myself and my children would definitely use.

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  7. I moved to Northamptonshire 7 years ago and every summer I say to my husband how much I miss going to the lido in London. So many amazing memories of summers spent at the lido as a kid and feel it's definitely needed in northants! It would be so popular

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  8. Definitely support a renewed middy meadow pool. Kids pool, diving boards, lawn areas. Excellent. We'll support

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  9. I've thought this before and would love to fundraise and support this idea!

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