Lower-than-expected take-up of membership means Charlton Lido will close for the winter on Sunday November 3rd. In an email to Better Swim members, GLL explains that to-date it only has 144 members, where the equivalent scheme for London Fields Lido has 1,200 members. The lack of revenue from this scheme, plus the expectation that the “dryside” facilities will not start making a financial contribution until into 2014, mean they face “a significant financial problem keeping the pool open through the winter“.
Members will have the choice of suspending their membership until the pool reopens, or keeping it running for the other pools run by GLL.
The email lays out some of the costs of running the lido (£200-£500 a day to heat the pool in winter; 1000+ members required to make winter opening viable), and stresses the investment GLL has in making it a success: “We are hopeful that with the whole new complex ‘Royal Greenwich Lido, Charlton’ [sic] up and running next year we will be able to attract the necessary numbers to stay open all year round. GLL will have invested £4m of our money and £1m of Partners money by the time the scheme is finished, so we do need to make it work!”.
(As an aside, if you’ve not had your say on the renaming of the lido yet, you can vote here).
While the lido has clearly been much busier this year than last (thanks, presumably, to the improved weather, plus increased awareness of the pool), it would be interesting to know why take up of the membership has been so low. Are you a member? Have you considered it but decided against? Let us know why in the comments below.
(2nd aside: the lido is now closing at 7pm on weekdays, rather than 8pm as it was through July and August).