South East Wales

Work to start on transforming derelict Pontypridd lido

An old picture of Ynysangharad lido Image copyright Rhondda Cynon Taf council
Image caption The lido was built in 1927 and closed in 1991 after falling into disrepair

Work is to start on transforming a derelict lido which has been closed for more than 20 years into a visitor attraction.

It is hoped the £6.3m project at Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd will bring tens of thousands of people into the town every year.

The grade II-listed lido was built in 1927 but has been closed since 1991.

The work is due to be completed in summer 2015.

The new lido would be open for about four months a year and include three heated pools, changing blocks and a new cafe.

It will also see a new play area built and feature an exhibition showing the history of the lido and the park.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council leader Anthony Christopher said: "The refurbished lido will create a regional tourist attraction bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Pontypridd.

"It will also create jobs directly in the lido itself, and have economic benefits for local businesses."

But he said the park would be without a swimming facility this summer because of the building work.

Historical significance

The lido was built with a distinctive Mediterranean influence and accommodated up to 1,000 people in its heyday.

During the post-war years it remained a popular attraction but had fallen into decline by the early 1980s before closing in 1991.

The complex has a significant historical significance for the town: Jenny James, the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1951, trained at the lido and it was also a local haunt for singing star and The Voice mentor Sir Tom Jones.

The project is receiving £3m in European funding through the Welsh government, £2.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £900,000 from Rhondda Cynon Taf council, and a £100,000 contribution from Welsh heritage body Cadw.

Image copyright RCT council
Image caption A new play area will be built as part of the scheme

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