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£14,000 raised to help restore Lido

The Winchester Lido Sports Association is celebrating a big fundraising boost.

With the goal of restoring the historic Lido building to its former glory, the charity started crowdfunding in December, aiming to raise £4,000. By the time the campaign closed in late January, over £14,000 had been pledged.

Alongside individual donations and gift aid of almost £5000, the charity will benefit from match-funding grants totalling £8,800 from Winchester City Council, Sport England, Sovereign Housing and a local family trust, with Hampshire County Council awarding a further £500.

Charity trustee Francis Burgess said: “The response to our fundraising campaign has been fantastic. We’re very grateful for the community’s support, including from grant-makers and those who offered rewards for the crowdfunder. It’s clear that local people still love the Lido building and want to see it restored.”

The Lido and its Sports Club were built in 1934. The outdoor pool was demolition in the late 1970s, while the clubhouse was rescued from the same fate by a group of local volunteers. The building has served the community for many years, including as a dance hall, bingo hall and music venue (famously hosting the Rolling Stones in 1963).

Now owned and managed by The Winchester Lido Sports Association, it has a sports hall for badminton, fitness classes and other activities, and a matted martial arts facility or “dojo”. However, it has been closed three times since March 2020 due to the pandemic, severely impacting the charity’s finances.

The Lido building is in the Hyde conservation area. Its Palladian-style façade is in urgent need of restoration, with rotting timberwork and cracked masonry, and the charity is keen to avoid further damage to the building.

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