7 June 2024

Hilsea Lido

We've started work on restoring the historic Hilsea Lido for Portsmouth City Council. We were appointed to the multi million pound project, through Pagabo frameworks procurement process, shortly after opening our new Southampton office. 


The project is expected to be complete by spring 2025, with the lido open to the public for the summer season in time for its 90th anniversary celebrations. The lido opened in 1935, hosting a demonstration by the Olympics British diving team a year later.


Beard is starting the work with the removal of some of the fountain parts at the west end of the site as pipework under the fountain needs to be taken out. Portsmouth based stonemason Darren Somerville is creating an exact replica of the fountain which will be restored in pride of place in the middle of the site when the project is complete.

Beard is hugely honoured to be chosen to complete this wonderful restoration project which will be the first to be run out of our new Southampton office. It is a fantastic way to mark the opening of the office and will allow us to showcase more than a century of skills and experience in delivering exceptional builds. This includes our work on outdoor public swimming venues in the UK. We look forward to working with Portsmouth City Council and all parties to deliver the exciting vision for this iconic attraction.

Pat Hughes, Southampton Director

The spectator stand at the north of the site has been declared unsafe so this will be demolished. Other work includes clearing away the old pool equipment which will be replaced with a modern filtration system. The pool will also be drained, ready for work to stabilise the base and restore the original lagoons that had been removed.


Once the initial phase of the work is complete, Beard will move into the build stage where new pipework will be installed in deep trenches. This delicate part of the project will involve installing a new pool inside the existing pool, with a significant amount of dowels drilled in the base of the old pool beforehand, to prevent water leaking and the new pool lifting. Beard will also build new modular changing units.

Hilsea Lido is a much-loved community asset. We are excited to be working with Beard on restoring the pool and providing modern facilities for swimmers at the site, meaning it can be enjoyed by local people and visitors alike in time for the 90th anniversary of the lido.

Natalie Brahma-Pearl, Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council

International construction and consultancy firm Mace is also driving the restoration through project and cost management services for the Portsmouth City Council through the SCF Consult Framework. Mace also lead the Design Guardian Team, ensuring all design aligns with the vision.

We know how valuable facilities like Hilsea Lido are in creating a sense of place for residents and boosting Portsmouth’s economy. That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting the council on its transformation, leaving a legacy for local communities and restoring a valuable asset for the city.

Lesha Chetty, Business Unit Director for Local Government and Communities at Mace Consult