More than 7,500 people have visited Lido Ponty, the National Lido of Wales, in its first 12 days of opening.
Demand for initial places has been huge, with most sessions full to capacity.
Admission to Lido Ponty, the National Lido of Wales, is FREE to all visitors for the 2015 season, with children under the age of 12 and an accompanying adult, who live in the County Borough, being able to access for FREE permanently.
And this coming weekend, the first-ever Pontypridd Aquathlon takes place at Lido Ponty, with more than 200 swimmers of all ages competing in an event organised by the Taff Ely Triathlon Club, in conjunction with Welsh Triathlon Cymru.
The Aquathlon on Sunday, September 6, is being held from 8.30am until 4.30pm, with public swimming taking place from 5pm onwards.
A special ceremony was held on August 24 at the Council’s new £6.3m flagship outdoor family attraction, situated in the heart of Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd.
Lido Ponty was officially opened by Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mrs Kate Thomas CVO, JP, in the presence of distinguished guests. Over 100 swimmers entered the gates for the first public swimming in the National Lido of Wales.
Since the opening, the public has flocked to Lido Ponty in great numbers to take part in the six swim sessions daily.
Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “The opening was such a landmark day, the culmination of almost four years of effort from the Council, from the initial project plan, to the development of the business case to secure the vital funding for the incredibly complex restoration and construction which has taken place over the last 18 months.
“Lido Ponty, also known as the National Lido of Wales, is a unique facility which Pontypridd and the County can be rightly proud of and the fact that over 7,500 have already visited, demonstrates how popular it promises to be.
“This title demonstrates its significance as it is a facility we hope will be enjoyed and used at a national level.
“It has the potential to become a major visitor destination, not only for Pontypridd but for the region and will deliver an important boost to our local economy.
“I would like to place on record, the Council’s thanks to the Heritage Lottery, Welsh Government and Cadw for their support which has helped make this project a reality.”
Cllr Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Culture, said: “This has been a hugely significant project, from securing the funding to managing the delivery of the scheme, and it is fantastic to see the Lido now open and being so well used.
“Despite the weather, there have been hundreds of visitors to Lido Ponty each day since its opening as people have taken the opportunity to access the facility, which is the only one of its kind in Wales.
“The range of activities on offer has proven to be popular with visitors and we are now looking forward to the Aquathlon on September 6, which I am sure will be a great event for all those involved.
“We really are privileged to have this facility and to have been able to deliver it, and thanks of course goes to the Welsh Government, WEFO, HLF and Cadw in this respect.”
Lido Ponty, a Grade II listed building, incorporating its proud past as well as amazing state-of-the-art 21st Century facilities. There are three heated pools, a sun terrace, Visitor Centre, function room available for private hire and indoor and outdoor changing facilities.
Lido Ponty is open to the public seven-days-a-week.. The Waterside Café will be open all year round.
The first-ever Pontypridd Aquathlon takes place at Lido Ponty on Sunday, September 6, with races taking place in all age categories. The public are welcome to come along as spectators. Public swimming will resume after the event.
Lido Ponty also incorporates Lido Play, a new and exciting childrens’ adventure play area, which will be open all year round.
The restoration of Lido Ponty has been due to £3m from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, £2.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a £900,000 contribution from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and a £100,000 contribution from Cadw.
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Money raised by National Lottery players has helped re-open this art deco treasure, bringing it back to life since it closed its doors in 1991 for almost a quarter of a century.
“It will be an excellent asset for the local community and is a fantastic venue to have on your doorstep - as well as for visitors from further afield. On behalf of the HLF in Wales, we hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to experience the joy of swimming under an open sky.”
Posted on Monday 7th September 2015