Portsmouth residents are being asked for their opinions on planned improvements to Hilsea Lido, following a successful bid by Portsmouth City Council for £8.75m central government funding to create the longest urban linear park in the UK.
The linear park will connect the west of the city to the eastern edge, with enhanced cycling and walking facilities providing a tourist offer that is local, national and international. At the heart of the park will be the Hilsea Leisure Park, a high-quality destination including children’s dry and wet play, water activities such as wakeboarding, high quality food and drink, interaction with the natural and heritage environment through viewing platforms, and a crucial redevelopment of the much-loved Hilsea Lido as a cornerstone attraction.
The ambitious “Pool for the People” element of the project will see improvements to the historic Hilsea Lido swimming pool and surrounding areas.
The council and Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust are reaching out to the community with numerous engagement events, workshops, and an online survey to understand what improvements the people of Portsmouth would like to see.
New funding has provided an opportunity to make Hilsea Lido a space that belongs to the community, promotes health and wellbeing, and is welcome to all.
Having created the opportunity for this funding, Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust are keen to ensure the Hilsea Lido community grows with us.
Chair of the trustees Sabrina Richards said. “We know that the lido has a special place in people’s hearts, and we want the next generation to be a able to create new memories at Hilsea Lido. This funding creates a new phase and is a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity. So please shape the future of the lido by taking part in this consultation and have your voice heard.”
Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Economic Development said: “Hilsea Lido is a much-loved part of the city’s heritage. This project supports our community’s vision to provide locals and visitors with diverse events, attractions, and venues, and supports our happy city goal by positively benefitting residents’ wellbeing.
“So many people in Portsmouth have very fond memories of the Lido, so we want to make sure that local people are part of the Lido’s future and give their views on how the funding is spent. We will be provided a range of opportunities for residents to get involved in shaping this project so please make sure you have your say.”
Residents are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas through an online survey at research.net/r/HilseaLidoSurvey. Over 40 comment boxes have been placed across Portsmouth in libraries, shops and pubs for people to provide feedback, additionally, there are 750 posters in the Hilsea ward area and nine advertising boards across the city.
The council’s engagement team has also visited high streets, shopping centres and various community events across the summer months, as well as engaged with schools and community groups.
The council’s first engagement event for the project took place in July. A pop-up event took place near Cosham Railway Station level crossing, where almost 100 shoppers, drivers and residents gave their thoughts on how the funding should be spent, and Bristol-based play practitioners Play:Disrupt delivered a workshop to the young people of Motiv8 and Portsmouth youth clubs.
The Lido also welcomed 30 students from local secondary schools who explored the existing facility and then created vision boards which they presented to a panel which included GB swimmer Katy Sexton and ex-Pompey Football Club goalkeeper Alan Knight.