Lido campaigners survey visionary project

FACT FINDING: Lido campaign surveys Pontypridd's vision

TAKING SHAPE: Pontypridd's lido is due to open in 2015

First published in News by

CAMPAIGNERS calling to rebuild The Knap Lido in Barry have been inspired by a daytrip to Pontypridd where a multi-million pound lido restoration is underway.

Rebuild The Knap Lido campaign leader and resident, Barrie Evans and Lisa Edwards joined Vale MP Alun Cairns on a fact-finding mission to the £6.3m lido, under restoration, at Ynysangharad Park.

The Grade II-listed facility, derelict since 1991, has secured £900,000 from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council (RCT) and Cadw, £3m from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and over £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A 25m main pool, splash and heated activity pools will feature alongside an all-weather changing block, new park cafe and history centre and dry play area and is due to open in time for the summer of 2015.

Staff from Rhondda Cynon Taff council explained the challenges they faced in re-building a lido fit for the twenty first century.

Alun said: “Having now seen the hugely impressive project to re-build the Pontypridd Lido in person, it can only help inspire the Rebuild Barry Knap Lido campaign. What is so striking is the sheer scale of a scheme which will transform the area in and around Pontypridd town centre. The team at Rhondda Cynon Taff council clearly put a great deal of effort in ensuring the Lido makes a nod to the past. But in allowing modern facilities like heated pools it will achieve the aim of making it attractive to visitors from around the area.

“We now have an opportunity to determine if Barry residents want to re-build the lido, and that is why I will continue to support the campaign in the Vale of Glamorgan. Rhondda Cynon Taff has developed a vision with the community and is determined to deliver on these types of projects. Whether the people of Barry agree with the knap re-opening or not it does highlight the observation that we have some important individual projects there is no clear grand vision for Wales’ largest town – Barry - and that is what we need urgently. The regeneration committee that was in place had great plans, but the proposals were consistently thwarted by the current leadership in the authority. The local community will remember the recommendations made by the Collins report which were blocked, it is simply unacceptable to see Barry muddling along with no plan and I call on all stakeholders to come together to maximise the opportunities for the people of Barry.”

Barrie Evans from the Rebuild Knap Lido campaign said he was inspired by the tremendous vision exhibited by those responsible for regeneration in Pontypridd.

He said: “It was an inspiring visit to see the Pontypridd Lido under construction, and impressive to see such vision from the team at Rhondda Cynon Taff council. We were shown the site, welcomed by a site manager from Barry who pointed out the key landmarks of the facility. With the support of the local community, we will now continue to forge ahead with our campaign for the re-opening of the lido in Barry.”

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