Access Improvements at Brightlingsea Lido, Phase I & II (2019)
Brightlingsea Lido has been run by a Charitable Incorporated Organisation for the past year,
having been taken over from Tendring District Council who intended to close the pool. As a
charity our overriding priority is to secure the pool for future generations, and we have been
committed from the outset to doing so is a way which is both inclusive and sustainable.
In year one, significant immediate improvements to access at the lido included:
1. Installation of new wheelchair accessible ramps (and alternative steps with handrails) at
entry to the site, giving on to level poolside access
2. Creation of a large accessible toilet and shower facility with drop-down seat, based on
reconfiguration of the existing (non-accessible) changing facilities (See note 1 below).
3. Installation of handrails on the right and left-hand side of built-in steps at the shallow end.
In year two, we are seeking access improvements to the pool, which to date has had no
supported access for mobility-restricted swimmers and wheelchair users. We are pursuing:
1. Grant-funding to provide a poolside hoist (see note 2 below).
2. An adult changing bench for the accessible changing facility.
3. Longer-term, we hope to raise the funds for a platform lift to provide wheelchair access to
the decking at the rear of our new terraced cafe from the poolside, and to the café ordering
1. Concessionary rates are offered for disabled users and helpers
2. Dedicated accessible (‘quiet’) swimming sessions are being trialled.
3. A low-level bell at the café ordering point enables wheelchair users to order and be served
food and drinks from the poolside (or there is alternative ramped access to the café at the
main entrance from the outside).
We welcome feedback from users and potential users to ensure we continue to meet the
needs of all members of the community who might wish to use the lido.
We have a dedicated email for access issues
Sources of guidance
Sport England (2010) Design Guidance Note: ‘Accessible Sports Facilities’ Formerly known as
Access for Disabled People (Updated 2010 guidance)
Sport England (2013) Design Guidance Note: ‘Swimming Pools’
1 A Changing Place facility is desired longer-term, but the layout of the inherited changing rooms and topography of the site they sit on, does not allow the necessary space configurations at the present time.
2 Installation of an automated platform lift (‘Poolpod’) for the pool was explored. However, in addition to
significant additional cost, this option proved not to be feasible at present time, since dependent on a higher water level than Brightlingsea lido currently achieves and therefore on major works to the pool