South West Wales

Afan Lido: £13.4m lido replacement design approved

Artist impression of the new building
Image caption Artist impression of how the replacement building will look

Plans and designs for a £13.4m sports complex in Port Talbot to replace a lido destroyed by fire four years ago have been approved.

Neath Port Talbot council will build the replacement Afan Lido on the neighbouring Hollywood Park site.

Campaigners wanted the new building on the old site but did win their battle to have an eight-lane pool.

Councillors approved the plans on Wednesday with work due to start by the end of the year, taking 15 months.

The design features a "wave roof" to reflect its seafront location.

It will have an eight-lane pool with boom and movable floor; learner pool, 100-seat spectator gallery and four-court sports hall with retractable seating for 100 spectators.

There will also be a fitness suite, dance studio, children's soft play area, a youth club, community meeting rooms and a cafe.

Image caption Neath Port Talbot council pledged to replace the Afan Lido within hours of the fire that destroyed it

Ali Thomas, leader of Neath Port Talbot council said: "I am proud of everyone who has played a part in this whole process from elected members to officers and the public.

"Now that we can see what it will look like, I'm sure that everyone will be as excited as I am to see such wonderful 21st Century facilities for local people and visitors alike to enjoy.

"It will certainly be a focal point to enhance our strategy and vision for regenerating the whole area."

The original Afan Lido was opened in 1965 by the Queen with Graham Jenkins, the brother of Hollywood star Richard Burton, its first manager.

The venue hosted major concerts from Spencer Davies to Pink Floyd in its early days to Coldplay and McFly in recent years.

In December 2009 the building was gutted by fire and finally demolished in late 2011.

A total of 2,628 people took part in a Neath Port Talbot council consultation on replacing the Afan Lido.

Although many people said they would like to see an identical rebuild, the council said it was costing £700,000 a year to keep the old lido going.

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