The People’s Pool – a new lido for Liverpool?

18th October, 2019

Nearly 30 years after the last lido on Merseyside closed, a project has launched to build a new one.

The People’s Pool initiative is being led by Deborah Aydon, who describes herself as a ‘mild swimmer rather than a wild swimmer’.

Liverpool was a pioneer in outdoor swimming, embracing it as part of the public health movement in the 1930s. The region had as many as eight lidos at one point, mainly on the Wirral and swimming was very much a working class activity.

Deborah is keen to bring this swimming spirit back to the area. Her vision for the lido is “somewhere that is absolutely inclusive, visually beautiful, inspiring and forward thinking”.

The lido is intended to be a hub for the community with a business model to support this including a food and drink offer, community, training, retail and social enterprises. The wishlist for the pool itself is that it will be 50 metres long, open all year and heated using environmentally-sustainable energy.

Deborah has visited a lot of lidos as research for The People’s Pool, and spent the last year talking to politicians, architects and local businesses. She says she has been “amazed” by the local response to the project.

It is an ambitious plan, described by Deborah as ‘reaching for the stars, but even if we miss we’ll hit the moon’.

This a long-term project so it will be a few years before any of us will be swimming there but you can keep in touch with The People’s Pool’s progress on its website.

Justine Harvey