The Lido is set to remain closed this yearThe Lido is set to remain closed this year
The Lido is set to remain closed this year

Peterborough Lido set to remain closed for first time in 84 years

Ducks are likely to be the only swimmers at Peterborough’s Lido this year despite calls for the much loved pool to re-open.

The water has turned green due to algae at the historic attraction, and a family of ducks have taken advantage of the site while everyone else is kept out.

Swimming pools cannot re-open due to coronavirus lockdown measures, but Peterborough MP Paul Bristow called for changes to the rules to be made to get the Lido and Bretton Water Park open.

He said: “I am pressing at Westminster to get up to date advice on outdoor swimming and play.

“Only when it is declared safe, I hope Peterborough City Council do whatever it takes to get both these facilities open so children and adults alike can enjoy them for at least part of the summer.

“It would be a symbolic gesture that Peterborough is on top of the corona virus and that the city council are committed to these facilities. In a managed facility like the Lido or water park would be easier to manage safety, numbers and social distancing than we have seen elsewhere.”

The Lido was built in 1936, and it is thought that if the gates don’t open this year it will be the first time in its history it has stayed shut.

But Stewart Francis , chairman of Vivacity, said it would be very difficult to re-open the Lido this year.

Vivacity is currently in the process of handing over facilities to Peterborough City Council.

He said: “First of all the Government would have to say yes, we can do it. Then we will have a lot of work to do - we would have to drain and re-fill the pool, which will take a lot of time, we would have to hire new staff, and get the whole site into a condition to open.

“The water normally stays in the pool when it is closed to protect the structure, but now it has algae in it - it takes three weeks to re-fill it.

“We make a loss on the Lido every year - normally our capacity would be 1,200 people, but with social distancing, we would probably have to reduce that to about 400 people.

“We would also have to hire more staff, so we could increase the cleaning schedule, and police the lane swimming and social distancing effectively.

“If we do open it will be lane swimming - it won’t be like it was in previous years where people could splash about with children.

“So were we to open, it would only be for a short period, and it would be high cost and low revenue.

“We have told the council we will open if they want us to, but they will have to pay.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said: “The management of the Lido is still with Vivacity during the 90 day notice period to end the contract.

“At the moment there has been no government decision to re-open swimming pools and we don’t know when this will be. The council is working closely with Vivacity to consider how we can reopen pools, including the Lido, safely and taking into account any new guidance.”