Tooting Bec Lido and athletics track win huge £3.5 million for vital revamp

A £3.5 million investment in a South London historic lido and athletics track has passed the final hurdle.

A total of £3 million will be invested in restoring Tooting Bec’s lido and £527,000 to fully replace the running surface at the Tooting Bec’s athletics track.

Money has been committed to replace both pump houses at the lido into a single building with a new filtration system and pipework, pool liner and electrical substation.

The lido, which dates back to 1906, is the largest open-air freshwater pool in the UK. Every year the number of visitors to the lido totals around 133,500.

Tooting Bec’s athletics track is now worn in places and needs to be replaced in the new year.

Wandsworth Council will be investing £527,000 in a new track

The stadium is a local, regional, and national resource which welcomes athletes, school and club competitions and provides for community use, sports development and competitive athletics.

More than 83,000 people visited the venue from 2019 to 2020, with around half of them using the running track.

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “People describe Tooting Bec lido as the jewel in the crown of London’s open air swimming pools and they are quite right to do so.

“It is a much-loved local amenity and the plans we have now formally approved should keep it open and in good shape for the next 50 years.”

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On the athletics track, Cllr Govindia said: “Unlike some boroughs which don’t have even one high quality running track, here in Wandsworth we are lucky to have two, both of which offer the full range of athletics disciplines to semi-professional standard.

“This is why we judged it vital to secure the funding needed to replace the track and safeguard its future.”

Plans for funding were approved in Wandsworth Council’s executive meeting on Monday night (December 6).

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