Charlton Lido’s future is looking brighter after Greenwich Leisure Limited took on its lease in a deal which took effect on Wednesday evening.
GLL, which runs Greenwich Council’s leisure facilities as well as scores of others around London, took on the lease from failed company Open Waters Investments, which had promised to turn the facility in Hornfair Park into a diving centre.
The diving centre plans are now on the back burner, with the council now wanting to see a 50-metre heated pool at Charlton Lido open in time for summer 2012.
Work would have to begin this summer, meaning swimmers will have to wait for an open-air dip – just as they did when negotiations with doomed Open Waters were taking place in the summer of 2009.
The new lido scheme now depends on planning permission being granted by the council’s planning board in May, as well as raising funds from London mayor Boris Johnson’s community sports fund.
Planning permission was renewed earlier this month for the diving centre scheme, which collapsed after Open Waters failed to secure funding for the project. The council is now concentrating on creating a heated pool at the site which would be open all year round. The entire scheme, including plans for a BMX track in Hornfair Park, is due to cost £2.8m.
In response to a question from Conservative leader Spencer Drury, Culture and Olympics cabinet member John Fahy told Wednesday’s council meeting that the deal to transfer the lido to GLL – which had operated it before the doomed Open Waters deal – had only been signed at 5pm on Wednesday.
“With a fair wind, and subject to a funding opportunity from the mayor’s fund, and a contribution from Greenwich Leisure; we anticipate the lido will form a 50-metre heated pool, and we hope to have that up and running in advance of 2012,” Cllr Fahy said.
“We anticipate the refurbishment is likely to be in the region of £2.8m, and as a consequence, we don’t anticipate the lido will be open this summer, because the contractors will be on site as early as possible in the summer.”
Hear John Fahy’s full response to Spencer Drury’s question: