Following the very successful refurbishment of the Lido changing rooms over the winter months prior to the 2023 summer season, Freedom Leisure, in consultation and agreement with Guildford Borough Council, has decided to carry out much needed and more intrusive maintenance work to the 1930’s pool following another successful summer season which comes to an end on Sunday 1 October 2023.

The works were originally thought to be only requiring a closure for 6 weeks however, following further investigation, a far longer closure period is required as the pool has to be completely empty to carry out the works which is mainly centred around repairing a worsening leak to the main pool tank.

This will of course mean that the pool will not open over the winter however, without these works the longer-term future of Guildford Lido would be compromised and the leisure trust hopes that although this will be disappointing news to some, the long-term benefits will be to many more people and the wider Guildford community in years to come.

Brian Lamplough, Freedom leisure’s Area Manager commented; “These are planned and necessary repairs albeit a longer time frame than was first thought. However, we hope people will see this as another example of both the council and ourselves investing further to enhance the facility and keep it operational and open for the peak spring and summer months.”

Lead Councillor for Commercial Services, Councillor Catherine Houston said; “Having recently invested in the wonderful refurbishment of the changing room facilities, I believe our commitment to The Lido and its future is obvious. We are so lucky to have this wonderful 1930’s pool in the heart of our town.  Continuous care and attention to the whole facility is an ongoing job though. We fully intend to do as much as we can during this prolonged period of closure to further enhance and improve the whole facility."

Guildford Lido update

January 2024

We're excited to announce the next series of essential maintenance works to ensure Guildford Lido is ready for your summertime enjoyment.

In the first week of February we have two specialised diving teams visiting. The first team will cap off a redundant pipe that's been causing one of the leaks, and a second large leak that has also been found. A couple of days later the second dive team will carry out a meticulous survey of the pool and its tiles. This comprehensive condition survey will give us a detailed picture of the Lido's health, allowing us to prioritise the repairs and improvements in time for opening on 26th April.

Work will be starting next week on the larger planters around the pool along with repointing of paving slabs, repairs and replacement to the path leading up to Burrito Loco and paddling pool repairs.

Once the survey report is in and carefully reviewed, we'll get straight to work with any identified issues that are raised. This will also involve tile replacements and repointing. Every step is being taken with one goal in mind: creating a fantastic summer experience for you at Guildford Lido.

We understand that maintenance work can cause temporary inconveniences. However, we believe these essential steps are crucial in ensuring the Lido's long-term health and continued enjoyment for generations to come. We'll keep you updated on the progress throughout February and beyond, so you can plan your summer dips with confidence.

In the meantime, stay tuned for exciting updates about the summer season timetable and season passes! We can't wait to welcome you back to the Lido for another unforgettable summer

December 2023

After extensive investigations over the last couple of weeks we have pinpointed the location of a leak, adjacent to the slides. Work to the repair the pipe has been scheduled to begin in the new year. Once the pipe has been repaired, more testing will take place on the pipework and pool to make sure this area has been sealed successfully.
 
We have met with Tim Hall, a previous long-standing General Manager of Guildford Lido. These talks have proved very helpful, with Tim bringing along to the meeting photographs of maintenance work that was carried in the 1990s which has helped us get a better understanding the of the underground pipework. Freedom Leisure and GBC will be in touch with Tim again to see if we can get these scanned and archived for future reference. 
 
We are continuing to the explore options available to us regarding sealing the main tank.
 
“While we regret the temporary closure, we assure customers that this is a proactive measure,” emphasises Brian Lamplough, Freedom Leisure Area Manager “Investing in the Lido’s infrastructure safeguards its future, allowing generations to enjoy this iconic space for years to come.”
 
The estimated timeline for completion remains Friday 26th April 2024, in time for Swimathon. 

We are committed to keeping the community informed throughout the process and look forward to welcoming you back to the Guildford Lido in the spring.
 
Thank you for your on-going support and understanding.

November 2023 

Following on from the repair works and further leak testing undertaken in October, excavation work started on Monday 6th November to expose the pipework where the gas testing identified a suspected leak. Two holes were dug and the return pipe was tested extensively for leaks. Reassuringly, no leaks were detected along the return pipe, which means that the leak is still in this area but will either be in the scum channel pipe or the longitudinal pipe. Work has started on gas testing both of these pipes and once we have the results, we will be able to dig down, visually inspect the pipework and carry out the required repair work.

Once this area has been fully tested and repaired, more gas testing will take place to highlight any further leaks. If any more leaks are detected we will repeat this process.

The pool remains full, and a decision on when it needs to be drained will be made at a future date. The reason why the pool hasn’t been drained so far is we need to keep the main tank full to allow for future gas testing to take place.

Work is progressing with the project to reline the main tank and we are currently at the stage where we are awaiting final quotes and work schedules.

Everything is running to schedule; This means that the Lido team will soon be starting their normal preparation work to open the Lido for the end of April.

October 2023

On Monday 2nd October, work started on the Guildford Lido repairs. This comprised of replacing and re-grouting all the broken tiles to ensure the pool tank was as watertight as possible before starting gas testing, which identifies any leaking pipework.

The gas testing that then took place identified a leak in the pipework located near the flume. The next step is to excavate the area in order to inspect and repair the pipe. At this point it is unknown if the pool needs to be drained in order for the repair work to be carried out. Work for this is scheduled to start on Monday 6th November.

Once this leak has been fully repaired, further gas testing work will be carried out. If any further leaks are detected we will repeat the same process.

While the leak detection work has been happening. Contractors have been working on the changing room snagging list to fully complete the project.

During this period of closure our investigation work has reaffirmed that relining the pool is now the only option available to mitigate against any future tank problems.

We have met with several contractors regarding the relining of the pool and how best to proceed, as there are several options available to us. All the contractors we have met with have assured us that they are able to start and finish the work within the timelines we have set.  Meaning we will still be reopening Guildford Lido for the start of the summer season.

We are working to the timeline of reopening for the summer season, regrettably this means there is no timeline to open or potentially reopen before this, but we will be fluid with this where we can.  

We will be posting monthly updates at the end of each month. If you have any specific questions you can contact the Lido team at lidoenquiries@freedom-leisure.co.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the issues with the pool and when were they identified? 
A. There are multiple leaks in the main tank and potentially the pipe work between the tank and plant room that need further investigation. The leaks were identified during the 2022/23 off season and the extent of the issue was confirmed during the investigation works that took place during the summer that resulted in a 3-day closure.

Q. Why weren’t the works completed while the Lido was closed last year?
A. The extent of the leaks became apparent during the off season of 2022/23 during which time the pool was closed to facilitate the major refurbishment works to the drainage and changing buildings by GBC. A leak detection survey was completed in the summer to help identify the issues. The works arising from the survey that could be completed were completed during the Summer season, however further investigations and works are required with a closed drained pool.

Q. Do all of the works require a full closure?
A. Yes, all of the works at the Lido will require a full closure of the pool.

The investigations will involve inspecting the pool structure and identifying any areas that need to be repaired. Once the investigations are complete, the necessary repairs will be carried out. 

It is important to note that the full closure of the pool is necessary to ensure the safety of both the workers and the public. Draining the pool will allow the workers to access all areas of the pool structure and carry out the necessary repairs safely. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the pool is completely watertight before it is reopened to the public.

Q. When will the works start and finish, and will it take all winter?
A. Work will start on Monday 2nd Oct. Further investigatory works can then take place. This will then identify further works that will be required.   

Q. Will we be kept updated on works as they progress?
A. Yes, Freedom Leisure will keep the public updated on the progress of the investigations and the resulting works at the Lido. It will do this through its website and social media channels.

Q. Why the late announcement? 
A. We were working hard to mitigate the impact of a full closure, however now that we have further detail on the works that are required, the difficult decision has been made to close at the earliest opportunity to allow the most amount of time to undertake these works and to arrange for further more intrusive investigations. The works and investigations must be completed at the earliest opportunity, so that we are not at risk of jeopardising the 2024 summer season.
 
Q. When is the pool scheduled to re-open? 
A. It is hoped that the Guildford Lido will reopen in time for the Summer Season and Swimathon on Saturday 27th April 2024.
 
Q. Where can I swim while the Lido is shut?
A. During the Lido closure, users are very welcome to use the Spectrum pools. The swimming programme for the Spectrum can be found here www.guildfordspectrum.co.uk/swimming/times-and-prices
 
Q. What will happen to my membership?
A. During the Lido closure, Guildford Lido gym members are invited to use Guildford Spectrum Pools and Gym and Ash Manor Sports Centre Gym throughout the closure period.
 
Q. What will happen to the staff at the Lido during this period of closure? 
A. All the staff at the Lido will be redeployed to other Freedom Leisure facilities in the area such as Guildford Spectrum or Ash Manor Sports Centre during the period of closure. Freedom Leisure is committed to keeping all of its staff employed, and that the closure will not result in any job losses.