Work to begin next month on restoration of Tooting Bec Lido

Published: Friday, October 21, 2022

An ambitious project designed to safeguard the future of the much-loved Tooting Bec Lido for decades to come is about to get underway.

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The 90-metre-long lido, which dates back to 1906, is the largest open-air freshwater pool in the UK and occupies a unique position in the history of British lido’s due to its size and the era in which it was built. It is regularly described as the “jewel in the crown” of Wandsworth’s sports, leisure and fitness facilities.

A recent council committee report outlining details of the project stated: “In summary, these works will preserve the future of Tooting Bec Lido by advancing investment ahead of any expected replacement programme.

“It will be advantageous to invest in a new and compliant facility, operating efficiently, saving on long-term maintenance costs and a facility that importantly continues to provide exceptional facilities for at least the next 50 years.”

The lido will close on Sunday, November 20 for around nine months while the work is in progress.

This investment will fund the replacement of the existing pumphouse, which controls the pool’s water supply and construction of a new electrical sub-station to power the pumps and also the lido’s modern new UV water purification system.

New pipework and filtration system, new pool liner and improved landscaping around the water’s edge also form parts the scheme.

Cabinet member for Environment Cllr Judi Gasser said: “This is a landmark project that should safeguard the lido’s future for decades to come.”

“People describe Tooting Bec Lido as the jewel in the crown of London’s open air swimming pools and they are quite right. It is a much-loved and hugely important local amenity; this summer, there were over 265,000 visits to the Lido.”

The lido is also the host venue for the National Cold Water Swimming Championships, which take place every two years, with guest teams from several countries competing and enhancing the pool’s international reputation.

The South London Swimming Club, which is based at the pool and is a well-established supporter and partner in the lido’s day to day management has contributed £100,000 towards the refurbishment and is also exploring additional future improvements at the pool that it could fund.

The lido is managed on a day-to-day basis by the council’s leisure centre contractor Places Leisure. For up to date information please visit