West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2021-07-26
End date: 2021-09-05
Results: 2021-12-05

Development of the Lido at Northcroft Leisure Centre, Newbury

Have your say

This consultation is closed.


The Lido is a 72m heated outdoor pool located within the grounds of the Northcroft Leisure Centre in Newbury.

The Lido is located on a spot which has a tradition of open air swimming in Newbury, and was first built as an unheated pool, approximately 66m x 12m, in August 1870, with two shallow ends and a deep water section in the middle. It was extended in 1914, and completely rebuilt in 1937, at which point it was believed to be the largest pool in the south of England.

Unlike more modern pools, the Lido is affected by ground water levels, which have undermined the integrity of the structure. It is built on a flood plain and is fed by a bore hole, under license by the Environment Agency. Over winter the ground water level rises and falls, and so the structure moves as the amount of water in the ground changes, therefore the pool needs constant maintenance to prevent leaks. To be able to inspect the pool and carry out any fixes to make sure it's safe to open, the pool has to be empty (which can only be carried out when ground water levels are low), and it then takes 10 days to re-fill, chlorinate and heat. 

In years where there is a lot of rain during spring, the ground level is too high and maintenance can't be carried out until it is lower than the pool.  This means that we can't guarantee when the Lido will open, which can be frustrating when the weather is good, but the Lido is closed.

What we are proposing

To carry out works to stabilise the pool structure and surrounding ground area which would provide the opportunity to both extend the lido season (from Easter through to the Autumn) and to review the facilities that are available for outdoor swimming.

We've worked with Space and Place to produce a concept plan to give an idea of what the proposed Lido might look like. Some examples of the facilities are a children's interactive splash pad, changing cubicles and lockers by the pool, and a sun-terrace and relaxation space. We'd also improve access for those with mobility issues.

As well as modernising the facilities, to provide a long term future for the Lido, the current maximum depth of 2.8m would need to be reduced to 1.5m, this would remove a lot of the pressure and impact from the ground water on the structure. Three indicative options have been identified:

pdf icon Option 1 [475kb]: 50 metre pool with racer slide, splash pad and high ropes.

pdf icon Option 2 [453kb]: 50 metre pool with toddler pool, splash pad and high ropes.

pdf icon Option 3 [208kb]: 71 metre pool with splash pad.

(The new lido will be a maximum length of 71m to accommodate a new filtration pipework and internal tank liner.)

Why we want your views

We'd like to understand how you use the Lido, and your views on our proposals for the facilities and the size of the pool. We'd also like to know if you have any suggestions to make it an even better place to visit.

How to take part

If you'd like to comment on the plans for the Lido, please complete our survey by midnight on Sunday, 5 September 2021. It should take about 10 minutes.

We're also holding a public webinar with Councillor Howard Woollaston, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, Jim Sweeting, Sports and Leisure Manager at West Berkshire Council and Paul Martindill, Leisure Consultant at 5pm on Tuesday, 3 August 2021 to discuss the options and answer your questions.

Please register to join the webinar, which will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.

If you'd like to submit your questions beforehand, please email them to pr@westberks.gov.uk by midday on Friday, 30 July 2021.

If you have any questions about the consultation, please contact the Sports and Leisure Manager.

What happens next

Your feedback will be taken into consideration and either help us decide whether we should proceed with the project or help shape our final proposals for the possible development of the Lido at Northcroft Leisure.

If you're interested in this topic, you might also like to take part in this related survey.