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Twickenham Lido
Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Twickenham Lido just an outdoor swimming pool?
No and it cannot be compared to a municipal swimming pool as it is so much more. As well as an outdoor swimming pool the lido will include a health spa with sauna, steam room, hot tubs and treatment rooms along with a restaurant and cafe.

The restaurant will be based on the award winning restaurant at the Bristol Lido, which was recently named in the 100 best restaurants in the UK.

Food prices at the lido will be commensurate with many of the popular cafes and restaurants in Twickenham; breakfast, tapas or a full meal (whether the set menu or a la carte). Cakes, snacks and afternoon tea will also be available. The only difference is that it is based on one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the UK.

You could just have a coffee and croissant in the café while taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi or splash out with fillet steak  in the restaurant, the choice is yours.  What you can count on however is quality.

Will the Council need to sell land to a private developer?
No, Teresa (of Twickenham Alive) ran the referendum to save the land from being sold to a property developer in 2009 and the land will remain in the possession of the Council;  the Bristol company will pay for the build of the lido complex and lease the land from the Council.

How much of the site will be used by the lido complex?
The lido complex will use around a quarter of the site leaving plenty of space for the requirements in the Council’s Brief. Thus it would be possible to amalgamate this proposal with another plan, including the provision of a new town square.

There would be space in front of the glass lido building and wide steps for easy access that can also be used as seating for performances which may take place on the Embankment. It would be possible to allow for direct access to the Diamond Jubilee Gardens from the lido.

Why didn’t the Council reinstate the lido which was originally on Diamond Jubilee Gardens?
We believe this was too expensive but now we have private funding to replace the lido.

Is the lido complex exclusive?
No. There is the option to pay a monthly membership fee which will be economic for those who wish to use the lido complex more than three times in a month. However, anyone can just walk in and pay to use the pool and spa facilities for a day session; the poolside cafe and restaurant will be completely open to the public.

There will also be promotions with discounts, some including food in the restaurant. Some promotions could include a charity element.

There will be special discounts for Richmond Card holders. At the new Reading Lido run by the same company the pool will be available for Reading Card holders for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon every day of the week at special reduced rates. At the Reading Lido it has been agreed that children 6-16 years will pay £3 and children under 6 years will be Free. Children must be accompanied by an adult and at Reading the cost is £8 for an adult. No prices have been set yet for the Twickenham Lido.

The ethos behind the lido is that anyone can use it, either to swim, relax or enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe a cake or snack. The local community is welcome to come and sit with a cup of tea or coffee overlooking the constant trickle of water from the infinity pool.

What is the pool like?
The lido outdoor heated pool has low chlorine levels.

There is a strict ‘wash naked’ policy which helps keep the pool clean and virtually chemical free. A specially developed pre and post swim body wash cleans thoroughly before swimming and Rose Geranium cleans and moisturises after a swim and spa.

The pool is heated through a collection of over 500 solar heat collectors which allows comfortable swimming and a great refreshing contrast when used in conjunction with the sauna, steam room and hot tub.

Why do you think this would be good for Twickenham?
There has been a lot of talk over the years of regenerating Twickenham and connecting the town to the River Thames which runs through the town.

A lido complex of this quality would bring people to the town and act as a magnet to kick start regeneration of the high street.

See what the people of Twickenham have to say:

I am signing this as a lido would offer so many opportunities to the Twickenham river front and help to regenerate the area and return the town back to its splendid past.

Because a lido would put the heart and soul back into the riverside. As someone who has visited the Clifton Lido I've seen what a positive financial and social impact it can have on a community.

I used the old Twickenham Pool regularly and have always mourned its passing. Twickenham is a pretty boring town with very little other than shops and restaurants. I feel a Lido would be a huge asset to the area and bring the much needed public benefiting the whole town.

Finally a proposal that will help the regeneration of the town centre by creating a destination for young and old.

Could the Lido be located somewhere else?
No.  It is essential for regeneration of the town that the lido complex is in the centre, on Twickenham Riverside. This is not just a lido, it is a way to bring back what Twickenham has lost.

The focus here is about Twickenham Riverside, an important and emotional issue. The idea for the Lido came from asking people what they wanted to see on the site. It is not about trying to find a suitable location in the borough for a lido, it is about what people want on Twickenham Riverside; repeatedly the answer was to reinstate a swimming pool. Obviously a swimming pool along the lines of the old Twickenham Baths would not be realistic, but a Lido along the lines of the one in Bristol is absolutely feasible.

In the past people have come up with ideas for Twickenham Riverside but they have not had the finance to back up their ideas. What do you say to this?
It is true that finding the money to put ideas into practice can be difficult especially for the Council as budgets are tight. However, we have the full funding for the lido complex, the people to build it and those with a successful track record to run everything once it is built.

The council already has a plan for the riverside, won't the Lido be out of place?
No. At this stage the Lido is a concept and not a fixed design; the council's chosen architects could easily incorporate the Lido within their scheme and make it fit with their overall design. However, most people we have talked to say they would like to see a signature modern building, rather than the normal pastiche.

Will there be jobs for local people?
Yes, we estimate that there will be around ninety new jobs created.

How does the Council benefit?
The simple answer is that a significant and quality asset could be provided in Twickenham without incurring cost to the council, which would provide added value in the new jobs provided locally and the footfall generated to benefit surrounding retail. The council’s investment in the riverside development could potentially be reduced freeing funds for use elsewhere. If the council’s investment in the site was in the region of £7m then an annual return of approximately £350k would probably be needed to provide an adequate return on investment, requiring sufficient retail/commercial/residential units to provide income. The Lido proposal provides a means for some of the riverside development to be achieved without using any council funds.

It was said at the Council meeting that the proposal would entail giving over council land for commercial use, but how does this differ from the council’s intention to incorporate retail, restaurant, café and commercial use on the site? The land would remain in council ownership with the Lido company holding a lease

See what the people of Twickenham have to say:

Twickenham deserves a facility local people actually want!

It's the right thing to do and it's about time.

I love this idea and have thought for a number of years it would be a great addition to the area, for locals and visitors alike.

Beneficial to the health and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

As a former long-term resident of Twickenham, I brought my family up there, I have always wondered why nothing could be done to re-vamp this site - it is a fabulous proposal - please do it!

I grew up there as a child and the outdoor pool was amazing in the summer. I think it will encourage more people to come to the riverside as well as a sports facilities for swimmers and triathletes.

It is a no brainer! Twickenham riverside could be so much better than it is and a plan like this should have been actioned years ago!