The 50 metre, spring-fed Lido in Stroud is set to open today, Saturday, May 28 – improvements include a modest amount of heating, new morning sessions and a changing room revamp.
After securing funding for heating options, a heat exchanger which takes excess heat from the neighbouring Stratford Park Leisure Centre’s electricity generator was installed earlier this month.
It is predicted to raise the temperature in the Lido by a degree or two but crucially, the heat exchanger installed is future-proofed to allow for more heat to be fed in to the water if longer-term plans for heating are realised.
The pool will be open seven days a week, from noon until 7pm.
Daily daytime lane sessions for keen swimmers will run from 12pm – 1pm and 6pm – 7pm, with public sessions for all ages and abilities to enjoy the whole pool, available from 1.15pm – 3.15pm and 3.45pm – 5.45pm.
In addition, early morning swimming sessions will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7am – 9am.
The heat for the leisure centre is generated by a combined heat and power (CHP) unit next to the Lido and two gas-fired condensing boilers.
A heat exchanger and associated pipework has been installed, and the excess heat from the CHP can be used by the Lido.
When sizing the pool heat exchanger there was consideration for future-proofing for additional heat load (400kw unit) to allow the Lido to be heated to a potential 24°C when the outside temperature is at 15°C.
This is dependent on funding in future years however.
In addition, volunteers, Stroud and South Gloucestershire College students, Friends of Stratford Park Lido, and contractors have all worked together to improve the aesthetic of the changing rooms.
The false ceiling has been removed by the volunteers and the 1930’s glass roof now allows natural light to pour in.
SGS students are repairing benches and painting changing rooms this summer term, and new sensor lighting, hand dryers and extractor fans have been installed in the ladies’ toilets, and emergency lighting and exit signs, emergency pull cord installed in the accessible toilet/shower.
“We know how well-loved the Lido is and improvements are being made which will improve the experience for all who take a dip,” said Councillor Chris Brine, Chair of SDC Community Services and Licensing Committee.
““The longer-term ambition is to warm the pool by more than just a degree or two and the new heat exchanger will allow for that, and for now, use excess heat from the leisure centre too.”