Visitor numbers at London Fields Lido have nearly tripled since it reopened in 2006.
Photograph: Hackney Council

London Fields Lido is to expand for the first time since it opened 87 years ago after the Town Hall approved £4.5 million for a new learner pool.

The much-loved outdoor swimming venue has seen visitor numbers almost triple since it reopened in 2006 – from 120,000 people a year to 330,000 in 2019.

The council now wants to build a new pool at the site to make it easier for both children and adults to learn how to swim.

The proposals will be subject to a full public consultation after a design team is appointed next year.

Work to build the new pool could begin in 2022.

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said: “For those who brave a frosty, early morning swim or for the thousands who enjoy its balmy summer evenings, London Fields Lido’s popularity is something to celebrate.

“However, we want people in Hackney to be able to make even more of their incredible lido, which is why we’re delivering on our manifesto promise to add a brand new learner pool to the site – opening it up to even more families and less confident swimmers. 

“By investing in Hackney’s leisure facilities to make them more inclusive and accessible, we hope to make the borough more liveable and encourage our residents to make physical activity a part of their daily routine – with the immeasurable benefits to health and wellbeing this can bring.”

Mayor Glanville said the plans are a sign of the council’s passion for protecting services that “make life better for the borough’s residents” in the face of a 40 per cent cut to its government funding since 2010.

He made clear that the multi-million pound investment “has only been made possible through careful financial management over the last ten years”.

London Fields Lido first opened in 1932 but closed in 1988 and fell into disrepair.

The council then reopened it in 2006 following a campaign by local residents.

Refurbishments and repairs two years ago, despite being beset by delays and construction issues, added a new reception area, changing rooms and toilet facilities.

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