The Guardian reports: Growing popularity of outdoor swimming leads to string of facilities opening across the country.
For the past 25 years, Hull’s lido has been out of bounds to everyone except the ducks and the local canoe club. Situated in the ward of Newington and Gipsyville, one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Britain, Albert Avenue pool is surrounded by terraced houses whose occupants had long given up hope of ever taking to its waters without a kayak.
Now, as part of its plans to “build a better society” post pandemic, Hull city council has decided to put £4.6m into reopening the outdoor pool and upgrading the complex. It is one of a string of new or refurbished lidos up and down the country, from Brighton to Salford, set to open in the coming years as outdoor swimming soars in popularity.
For a council under extreme financial pressure following a £130m cut in central government funding over the past 10 years, reopening a lido may seem a luxury to some. Not so, said Daren Hale, the deputy leader of Hull council.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, people have started to take stock of what’s important,” he said. “As we come out of the pandemic we need to build a better society. And I think the fear that we have is that unemployment will be higher, certainly for young people as the furlough scheme winds down, and people are going to need to have affordable, good leisure facilities on their doorstep.” Read more...