From The Argus –
Plans to bring a 50 metre swimming pool to Brighton seafront will go ahead despite this week’s funding blow to the Madeira Terraces regeneration.
SwimTrek’s Simon Murie told The Argus that plans for the £4.5 million swimming attraction could be submitted within weeks with a potential opening in the summer of 2019.
Mr Murie said the failed bid was a blow to his own project but the venue would not “stand or fall” on the wider redevelopment of the east Brighton seafront.
The council is still reeling from learning on Monday the Government had rejected their bid for the £4 million needed to kick start its £23 million regeneration of the crumbling Victorian arches.
The Sea Lanes swimming pool and Madeira Terraces seafront have both been promoted as important jigsaw pieces in the council’s £1 billion seafront.
The proposed pool, half a mile east of the Brighton Palace Pier at the site of the former Peter Pan’s Playground, would be promoted as a national centre for open water swimming.
It would include a 50 metre eight-lane pool, changing rooms, showers, sauna, studios for training, exercise and yoga, therapy rooms, a café/restaurant, shops, offices, a function room, bike hire and lockers.
Behind the project, financed by private investment, are developers Copsemill Properties and SwimTrek, the UK’s biggest open-water swimming operator.
Open-water swimming coaches Swimmergy and architects We Like Today are also involved.
Mr Murie said the project team was in discussion with the council about a reduction in height of proposed buildings.
Last summer Historic England raised concerns about the “overall amount, height and density” of the Sea Lanes scheme as well as questioning how it would not impact on both the Madeira Terraces regeneration and Saltdean Lido, which is due to open at the end of May.
Mr Murie said: “Obviously the news on the terraces was not great, we were hoping the redevelopment of the terraces would put us in a better position.
“We are keen to hear from the council what is the plan for the terraces going forward and hopefully we will be part of the wider plan.
“But it doesn’t stand or fall with the terraces redevelopment.
“If things don’t happen quickly with the terraces we think we will be able to be a standalone attraction like Yellowave.
“I think Sea Lanes is a unique product, a 50 metre pool that is so desperately needed.
“There is a real shortage of pool facilities in Brighton.”