North London’s Lido and Leisure Center is being demolished

North London swimmers and wave lovers, we have some very sad news. Finchley Lido Leisure Centre is set to close, several years after Barnet Council deemed the site unfit for purpose. And it’s not just the lido that’s being removed: the wider Great North Leisure Park, which includes a bowling alley and cinema, is also being redeveloped.

In more positive news, the lido is being replaced by another leisure center – as well as a development with 1,500 new homes and 2,000 square meters of new retail space. The cinema and bowling alley, meanwhile, will be moved about a mile away in North Finchley town centre.

And many will be sad to see the lido go. Local charity Young Barnet Foundation hailed Finchley Lido as “a treasured hub within the Barnet community”. Ed Cunningham, Time Out news editor born and bred in north London, recalled his childhood there:

“Anyone who grew up in North London knows and loves Finchley Lido. A few hours in the wave pool, followed by a bit of bowling at the Hollywood Bowl and Pizza Hut’s ice cream factory… the kids’ birthday parties couldn’t get any better.

Even so, the time has come for Finchley Lido to have a makeover. The Young Barnet Foundation praised the council for its “commitment to revitalizing (the) landmark”, encouraging local people to contribute to the Royal consultation in a online posting: “By actively engaging in the conversation, you can help create a recreation center that promotes health, well-being and a sense of community for everyone.”

Conformable Ham and tall, Developer Royal is expected to unveil plans for Finchley Lido and Great North Leisure Park this autumn, as well as hold a public conference to discuss them. Watch this space for updates.

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