Brightlingsea outdoor swimming pool or Lido was built in 1933 and is 85 years old; it is the only remaining outdoor Lido in Essex. It is an established part of the fabric of the town and has a heritage timeline that is cherished by residents and visitors alike. Many residents can recall learning to swim or spending large amounts of their childhoods ‘down the pool’.

The Lido has suffered from a lack of investment and been under threat of closure for a number of years due to funding cuts. Over the last twelve months Brightlingsea Town Councillors have been in discussions with Tendring District Council and have successfully negotiated an Asset Transfer Agreement between the two authorities.

BTC have stopped the closure of the Lido and will take over the running of the facility for 2018 from Tendring District Council. BTC will implement much needed improvements. BTC will be granted a lease (initially 50 yrs) The council will further lease the management of the Lido to an incorporated charity – BRIGHTLINGSEA LIDO.

 BRIGHTLINGSEA LIDO (BL) is being created, and will be managed through the structure of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) to keep the pool open and progressively upgrade it to a first class facility. BRIGHTLINGSEA LIDO will be not for profit, have limited liability and enjoy charitable status.

The objectives of BRIGHTLINGSEA LIDO are to:

  • Keep the Lido open for the local community and surrounding areas for future generations.
  • Manage, maintain and enhance the Lido as a strong, vibrant
  • Work in partnership with Tendring District Council, BTC and other relevant and sympathetic organisations.
  • Achieve near financial independence within five years of taking over the running of the
  • Integrate accessibility into all designs and improvements. Make the Lido a fully inclusive and accessible resource for all.
  • Work towards a fully sustainable resource and utilise modern renewable energy sources.

The aim for BRIGHTLINGSEA LIDO is to re-open the pool on May 28th 2018,(subject to works being completed) and in that first year BL management will:

  • Consult regarding opening hours to increase flexibility for its customers and enable access by local
  • Undertake a full accessibility assessment.
  • Recruit volunteers from the local community and seek to raise funds.
  • Implement a flexible ticketing and pricing structure.
  • Improve the visual aspects of the facility including sea views.
  • Ensure trouble free and continuous operation throughout the summer period.
  • Finalise the long term development plan, subject to possible EU and/or other grant funding.
  • Promote BL’s vision of the Lido to the Brightlingsea community.
  • Produce a design for a pool water heating system, largely based upon renewable or recoverable energy sources. Aim to install within a five year period.

BRIGHTLINGSEA LIDO will become a community asset and will be owned and run by the people of the town. This is a huge step forward in retaining it as a resource for future generations.

Although BTC has committed capital to finance the initial stages of the project it will only work if supported by the community. We have already had local professionals and businesses offering their services, and a large number of people have already volunteered to undertake maintenance, administrative work and reception, general support work and possible lifeguard training.


Please indicate what area of the Lido’s operation you are interested in and your potential availability – we need volunteers in the following areas:-

  • General Maintenance, Painting, and Cleaning.
  • Admin/Reception
  • Lifeguard Support
  • Promotion, Publicity
  • Fund Raising

You will be contacted when work parties are scheduled and receive regular updates on the progress of the development.

Mick Barry

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© Brightlingsea Town Council 2011 – .
Site designed and maintained by Big Red Web Design. Webmaster.