After sustaining a significant amount of damage during Storm Dennis in February, the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, has been given a boost with the announcement that the much-loved attraction in the heart of Pontypridd will reopen next Easter
The wider Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, which is home to the Lido Ponty, reopened to the public on Wednesday, May 27th following the completion of remedial works to repair the damage to footways and railings adjacent to the river – with residents now able to use the open space for their daily exercise providing that social distancing is maintained at all times.
In spite of the reopening of the Park and the essential repairs being completed, works to a number of the facilities are still ongoing or due to start shortly and further updates on some of the specific projects are detailed below.
A survey of the pool linings will shortly be undertaken and the Council is working with specialist contractors to obtain timescales. A substantial amount of work remains to be done at the facility, however, and the three pools at the Lido are unlikely to be available to test until later in the year due to the significant damage sustained. The plant room has now been cleaned and sanitised and the damage to the plant is being assessed as the next stage of the process.
The changing rooms have now fully dried out and will be restored to their pre-flood condition, as will the other Lido buildings. These works, along with the repairs to the café and the alteration to the toilet area to accommodate the creation of a new hygiene room will shortly be going out to tender, with a view to works commencing in July and being completed at the end of September.
The Council has recently secured £300,000 of funding under the Valley’s Regional Park initiative, with the allocation for Ynysangharad War Memorial Park to be used for improvements to the footpath and lighting network in the Park which will be implemented by the end of the financial year; and also for the creation of a Changing Place facility which will feature a height-adjustable changing bench, a tracking hoist system, and enough space for a disabled individual with two carers and equipment. Works to deliver this facility are currently ongoing.
M&S Bridge and Llys Cadwyn pedestrian link bridge
Consultant engineers specialising in cable stay bridges are working with a specialist contractor to undertake inspections and investigate potential repair methods for the Marks and Spencer Bridge following significant damage to the structure during Storm Dennis. The bridge remains closed to the public and the investigatory works will be ongoing throughout the summer.
Despite some delays caused by the flooding and the onset of the coronavirus national emergency, the final sections of the new pedestrian link bridge between the Llys Cadwyn development and the Park were installed on Friday, 29th May. The next stages of the project will continue over the course of the next month, focussing on the completion of the bridge handrails and lighting, as well as the landscaping and approaches to the bridge. This bridge should be ready to open in the next 10 weeks.
Golf Hut, Public Toilets and Bowls Pavilion
Works are due to be completed on both the public toilet facilities and Golf Hut by the end of the month and this also includes the snack bar at the Golf Hut.
The Bowls Pavilion, meanwhile, will shortly be going out to tender with works commencing onsite in July and completion by the end of September. The work will involve complete redecoration throughout, as well as the installation of a toilet and drying room, along with new disabled toilets.
County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said:
“Storm Dennis brought the worst flooding witnessed in a generation and certainly since Rhondda Cynon Taf was formed, with thousands of residents and businesses suffering internal damage to their properties, along with a substantial amount of damage to public facilities including highways, structures and buildings.
“With Pontypridd being particularly badly affected, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park was also heavily flooded with a number of facilities in the grounds badly damaged, including the Lido Ponty.
“The close following of the coronavirus national emergency has hindered the Council’s progress in carrying out the necessary works, although I am pleased to confirm that, based on the current situation, the facility will reopen to the public next Easter and if possible we will consider an event before then should the situation regarding coronavirus allow us.
“Over the coming weeks and months, a number of projects will be underway to repair and deliver improvements to the Lido and the wider Park area, and I look forward to seeing these progress.
“We have recently been able to reopen Ynysangharad War Memorial Park for residents to make use of for their daily exercise and I would encourage those making use of the Park to continue to maintain social distancing at all times.”