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Campaigners ask Banks to list Plymouth's Tinside Lido

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The Twentieth Century Society is urging listings minister Tony Banks to spot-list the Art Deco Tinside Lido on Plymouth Hoe to save it from destruction.

The pool has been closed for seven years for maintenance repairs, but owner Plymouth City Council is considering pulling it down. Chris Freeguard, development director of the council, told the aj that demolition was one of a series of options being looked at by the council, along with refurbishment, but that 'the world has moved on' and that more than 60 years of lashing by the sea may have destroyed the structure and services beyond repair. 'There are substantial defects in the structure and we're currently evaluating the cost of refurbishment,' he said. 'It's not something that lends itself to just a tin of paint and a can of oil.'

Freeguard added that the building, although representing 'enormously warm, nostalgic memories' for local people, had been expensive to run and 'perhaps not an appropriate form of leisure for the future'

The pool, which is semi-circular in plan, opened in 1935. Designed by J Wibberley and built by Edmund Nuttall and John Mowlem and Co, it allows a new pool-full of fresh sea water to be pumped into the baths every four hours.

Kevin Kelway of the Tinside Action Group, fighting the lido's closure, has employed an independent surveyor, John Pearce, to advise him on roughly what is needed to put it back to use. 'We say it would cost £1 million,' he said. 'We're trying to save Britain's heritage.'

Twentieth Century Society casework officer Bronwen Edwards has written to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to alert Banks to the lido's 'imminent threat of demolition'.

'The Twentieth Century Society has long been interested in this outstanding building,' she wrote. 'It was described in Farewell my Lido as being 'part of a dramatic complex of buildings hugging cliffside and extending into the sea. Fine Art Deco buildings and twin fountains'.'

The dcms, which has looked at the building for a potential listing before but opted to list the Jubilee Pool in Penzance instead, confirmed that it had received the letter from the Twentieth Century Society and said it had gone to English Heritage for advice. The department is waiting for one more piece of advice before taking it to the minister. A final decision is expected within the next few weeks.

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