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Thames Lido supports campaign to restore Twickenham Lido with health spa

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Wellbeing operator Thames Lido is in discussions with Richmond Council to restore and run a lido and health spa – similar to the leisure facility it operates in Bristol – on Twickenham Riverside as part of a proposal called Twickenham Alive.

Based on the financial success and sustainability of the Bristol site, Thames Lido is the preferred operator, according to a petition that outlines the benefits of a sport and leisure facility for Twickenham locals.

Mark Thwaites of Thames Lido – which is also in charge of the £3m (US$4.5m, €3.8m) private investment restoration of another UK lido, the Grade II-listed lido in Reading – confirmed to Spa Opportunities that Thames Lido is in discussions and is keen to be involved in the Twickenham project, should planning be approved.

Thwaites, who is general manager of the Lido Bristol – the first lido Thames Lido to be reopened in 2008 – also outlined progress at the Reading Lido construction site. “Most of the roof has been restored and I’m keen to see that all the work carried out to the property is done with respect to the building.

“The plan is not to open the lido and spa as soon as possible. Instead, there’s a team of only seven builders working on the site, who are doing one bit at a time. Their attention to detail is stunning.

“We could hurry things along and get more builders in but I’m keen not to see any shortcuts taken or mistakes made. The property, therefore, isn’t expected to open until the end of 2016.

Thwaites added: “This is a slow restoration project with careful attention to original shapes and forms. Wherever possible, we avoid use of destructive practices or using machinery prone to causing damage to the original fabric. We employ skilled artisans who are able to reuse existing materials, rarely wasting a brick or plank of wood.

“Thames Lido has a 250-year lease, so it’s costing very little to rent. All the funding is coming from private investors, rather than a bank loan, which means there’s no urgent rush to get the project finished – although I can’t wait to see it open in all its glory."

Thwaites is set to work at the Reading Lido when it opens, setting it up and finding staff to make sure the site operates in the same style as the Lido Bristol.

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Wellbeing operator Thames Lido is in discussions with Richmond Council to restore and run a lido and health spa – similar to the leisure facility it operates in Bristol – on Twickenham Riverside as part of a proposal called Twickenham Alive.
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