Historic UK lido make-over

How Myrtha RenovAction technology and leisure design bring to new life Northcroft Lido


A beloved historical Lido in Newbury has been rescued from major structural issues through cutting-edge technology.

The Northcroft Lido, situated in Newbury and owned by West Berkshire Council, has undergone a significant redevelopment in partnership with Alliance Leisure. Collaborating closely with modular pool provider Myrtha Pools, the aim was to rejuvenate this public space for the local community.

To address issues without resorting to a complete demolition of the outdated 72-meter concrete pool, the innovative Myrtha RenovAction technology, constructed from stainless steel, has streamlined the process, reducing time and costs. This approach has also allowed for a complete redesign of the pool to better align with the facility’s operational needs and costs. The Lido pool has now been transformed into a 50-meter pool with four lanes, and it has been made shallower. These changes enhance its economic sustainability, as the pool can now be heated during the colder months of its operational period.

Following a survey conducted by the West Berkshire District Council among citizens, it was determined that the space freed up by reducing the size of the pool would be repurposed to create a children’s play area. Drawing on Myrtha’s expertise, the design and realization of three water slides and a splash pad, featuring 20 different water toys and attractions, were incorporated.

Kevin Burns, the UK Business Development Manager at Myrtha Pools, commented, “This historic facility has been an integral part of Newbury for decades. However, like many lidos throughout the country, advancements in technology provide leisure operators the opportunity to revitalize and plan for the future. The new pool benefits from the most advanced modular stainless-steel technology, which has been precision engineered offsite and will futureproof the lido for decades to come, with both cost and sustainability savings.

Sarah Watts, CEO at Alliance Leisure, added: “As one of the UK’s oldest and most loved lidos, we worked hard to deliver improvements that meets the needs of a modern community. Our primary goal has been to create a space that provides a fun and relaxing environment for families in Newbury and further afield, that will view the lido as popular space to return to year-after-year.

West Berkshire Council has high hopes that the new lido will elevate swimming participation rates in the region. The extensive transformation is expected to extend the outdoor swimming season from the current 10-12 weeks per year to a span of six months. Anticipated usage is projected to surge from the current 15,000-20,000 annual visits to an estimated 50,000 during the initial six-month opening period.