From The Argus –
Images of what a £4.5 million open air swimming pool complex on Brighton seafront could look like have been revealed.
The Sea Lanes project was awarded a 150-year-old lease for the former and long-vacant Peter Pan’s playground in Madeira Drive at Thursday 28th April’s special policy and resources committee.
It forms part of a wider £1 billion regeneration seafront plan which council leader Warren Morgan has described as the city’s biggest “in a generation”.
The organisers behind the pool complex believe the facility will be the first of its kind in the country.
The facility half a mile east of the Palace Pier would be promoted as a national centre for open water swimming and could be constructed by the end of next year.
It would include a 50-metre eight-lane pool, changing rooms, showers, sauna, studios for training, exercise and yoga, therapy rooms, a café/restaurant, leisure-related shops, offices, function room, bike hire and lockers.
Behind the project, which is being financed purely by private investment, are Brighton developers Copsemill Properties and Hove-based SwimTrek, the UK’s biggest open-water swimming operator which provide holidays, events, races and coaching.
SwimTrek’s Simon Murie said he was not aware of any other privately funded, heated open air 50 metre swimming pool in the country that will be open to the public.
Mr Murie said he hoped the facility could be completed as early as the end of next year if all goes well with the planning application which is set to be submitted at the end of the summer.
Mr Murie said that he hoped the project would help regenerate the Madeira Drive area along with proposals for a zip wire, the Black Rock arena and the reconstruction of the Madeira Terraces.
He added that the pool would help to meet increased demand in the city when the King Alfred, whose pool is currently closed for repairs, is demolished.
Part of the planned swimming pool will include a boardwalk down to the seafront for those who don’t like stepping over Brighton’s pebbly beach and more importantly to improve access to the sea for the elderly and disabled.
Mr Murie said: “Most privately funded pools belong to private clubs but ours will be open to the public which makes it a unique proposal.
“I think it’s definitely got potential for it to go wider, there is a distinct lack of 50 metre pools in the country, and we certainly want this model to expand out whether that is through us or through other businesses.
“We hope people will use the facility as a stepping stone to get into the sea.
“As people come down from the station to the seafront, we hope we will give good reason for them to go left as well as right.”