About the HLPP Trust

Creating memories for the next generation!

Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust is a Company Limited by Guarantee (reg no 6940781) and Registered Charity (reg no 1133714) managed by a board of trustees who are supported by trust members, volunteers, supporters, donors and via partnership working.  This is a community project and the community are encouraged to get involved.

Because of the nature of this project the board of trustees are very hands-on.  Funds are scarce and therefore the only people employed by the trust at present are qualified lifeguards.

HLPP Trust has a very loyal team of volunteers who work incredibly hard (in all weathers) to help maintain and improve the site, plan & prepare for the future, provide operational support and keep this project on track.

New faces are always welcome & people are invited to contribute as little or as much as they want, be it professional skills, basic volunteering, donations, fundraising initiatives or just ideas.  Taking part can consist of just an hour or two or on a long-term basis, it’s all a matter of choice.

Together we have achieved a massive amount, there is still lots to do – Get involved, you might enjoy it!

The Lido facilities

  • Hilsea Lido is a 67m long, unheated pool with a 4.5m deep diving pit and a 2m diving platform in the middle.
  • The pool is approximately 1m deep at the shallow ends.
  • There are individual changing cubicles and showers within our Ladies and Gents facilities.
  • We have picnic tables and plenty of space for sunbathing.
  • A small number of swim aids and water games are available.
  • A wide variety of tasty treats are available from the Blue Lagoon tearoom and kiosk


We'd love you to join our team of lifeguards, volunteers or become a supporter!

a little bit of history..

Plans for development of the lido were agreed in 1932 and it opened on 24 July 1935. The architect was Joseph Parkin. The pool originally used seawater, converting later to freshwater and the lido design included two large fountains which have been retained but are not currently used. The Main Pool and changing facilities were designed for the use of 768 adults and 180 children with accommodation for around 1000 spectators.



In 1936 the Lido was visited by the British diving team from that summer's Olympics who gave a demonstration on 31 August. During World War two the main pool was closed to the general public and was given over to the use of the various military units in the area. Between 1946 and 1951 a miniature railway ran along the lido site. In 1974 the Lido was used as a set for the Bernie’s Holiday Camp scene in the film Tommy with both Oliver Reed and Ann Magaret visiting the lido.




In 2006 plans for refurbishing the lido were abandoned by the Council, however extended campaigning by residents continued and in 2009 a management trust (Hilsea Lido Pool for the People) was established and in 2010 acquired the lido and adjoining Blue Lagoon building on a 99 year lease from Portsmouth City Council.

In June 2012 Sport England gave Hilsea lido Pool for the people a £50,000 grant towards the cost of restoring the pool. The money was used to refurbish the pool and plant room.

The lido reopened in July 2014 and in 2015 a new 2 meter diving platform was added to replace the original high diving platforms that were removed in the 1970's.


A video history of the restoration

The start of our journey
Restoration video with archive footage
The grand opening!
The diving board is back!

For more nostalgia, visit our dedicated page and if you have any memories or old photos please share them with us!

Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust
Company Limited by Guarantee Registered Number 6940781
Registered Charity Number 1133714
Hilsea Lido Trading Limited Private Limited Company Number 7358165