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Social enterprise to seek approval for UK lido and health spa

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The founders of social enterprise Twickenham Alive, Teresa Read and Berkley Driscoll, are spearheading plans to recreate a lido and health spa in Twickenham, UK, to increase tourism in the area and restore some of the borough’s historically popular facilities.

As trustees of the local charity Richmond Environmental Information Centre, Read and Driscoll are involved in projects relating to the history of the borough, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Twickenham Alive, however, provides local residents with events based on historical venues are no longer available, including a cinema, ice rink and a lido – the last of which was razed in 2009. Twickenham Alive has provided temporary leisure venues and events such as an ice rink and a film festival, to commemorate these lost hubs.

The concept created by Thames Lido – the company that restores and operates lidos including Lido Bristol and the upcoming lido and health spa in Reading – was put forward by Twickenham Alive as a potential template for the region, after Richmond Council hosted a competition for a community-focused facility to be built on land it owns beside the former lido’s resting place.

The former lido has been filled in since its demise and turned into The Diamond Jubilee Gardens, which Read says are hardly ever used. “This new lido would be connected to the gardens, taking up only a quarter of the land put aside for development by the council,” said Read. “The lido would therefore create more interest in the gardens too.”

The lido idea was rejected by the council, however, Twickenham Alive put up an online petition to gauge local support for the lido. The petition has gained almost 2,000 signatures and the council has now said it will meet with Twickenham Alive to hear a reworked proposal that involves Thames Lido restoring and potentially managing the lido with the backing of its own private investors.

“The Thames Lido concept works well in Bristol and is being used as a template for the Twickenham proposal," Read told Spa Opportunities. We’re obviously looking at ways to make this lido more relevant for the Twickenham market. The high response rate to our petition has been amazing and it shows that the lido is what the people of Twickenham want. It will increase footfall to the area, which means our long high street might get the cash injection it needs to be rejuvenated too.”

Mark Thwaites, general manager of Lido Bristol – the successful template lido and health spa run by Thames Lido – said: “Thames Lido is supporting Twickenham Alive in its efforts to show Richmond council that there can be a successful community hub in this location again. It’s a beautiful area and I’m sure our investors would be glad to be involved, should planning go ahead.”

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The founders of social enterprise Twickenham Alive, Teresa Read and Berkley Driscoll, are spearheading plans to recreate a lido and health spa in Twickenham, UK, to increase tourism in the area and restore some of the borough’s historically popular facilities.
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Mark Thwaites of Thames Lido is supporting Twickenham Alive in its efforts
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