When the waves crashed in on New Brighton's outdoor swimming baths in a 1990 storm, it would be just months later that the iconic 66 year old lido was demolished.

As well as marking an end of an era for the resort's outdoor swimming facilities, the demise of New Brighton outdoor baths also seemed to symbolise the sad decline of the Wirral seaside town which had once been a booming tourist hotspot.

Over the 30 years since, several plans have been put forward for a new outdoor pool at New Brighton yet none have ever made it to fruition.

Last week the ECHO reported on a small outdoor pool which had been built in the resort but had never actually been swam in, at the site of Bubbles World of Play and which was replaced by an outdoor splash area in 2016.

The report prompted a range of comments from readers about the failed attempts to revive New Brighton's dream of open air swimming over the years, with many in agreement that the lack of outdoor facilities in the resort town is a "shame" given its ongoing revival.

We look back at some of the plans that have come and gone in the 30 year saga of New Brighton's bid to revive the its open air pool glory days.

Ocean dome 1999

Damage to New Brighton's outdoor baths after the storm which led to its eventual demolition
Damage to New Brighton's outdoor baths after the storm which led to its eventual demolition

In 1999 plans were put forward for an "ocean dome" which would have had a fake Caribbean beach, complete with wave machine and climate control.

While not quite an outdoor pool, the retractable roof would have made paddling in the open air something of a possibility.

Based on designs from a similar Japanese project, the £150million scheme never moved past the drawing stage, although within less than a decade plans were afoot for a new lido.

A new and improved seafront 2006

In 2006, proposals emerged for a huge redevelopment project at New Brighton seafront.

Marine Point development as it came to be known, devised by Neptune Developments (now Ion) was to include an outdoor lido as part of its original plans.

'You can purchase a copy here of the 64 page special packed with nostalgic photos and articles from your local area'.

Those plans ended up at public inquiry in 2006 after New Brighton Heritage Action Group, Wellington Road Conservation Area and the Fort Perch Rock Group objected to several aspects of the scheme, including proposals to drain the existing marina and boating lakes.

Super sized hot tub 2007

Revised plans were put forward in 2007 which changed the scale and location of some of the buildings, removed the residential aspect of the scheme and a planned petrol station at the new supermarket.

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One of the more controversial aspects of the changes involved dropping plans for an outdoor lido, to be replaced instead with a “super-sized hot-tub” which could be used all year round at the site of the "art deco inspired" new leisure facility.

That facility, which was originally intended to include a large gym, now houses Bubbles World of Play, with the filled in and never used pool eventually becoming the popular play centre's outdoor splash area.

A people's lido 2021

The most recent attempt to bring an outdoor lido to New Brighton hit rocky ground just last month.

In early March, plans for a "people's lido" by a community interest company failed to garner council support for funding for a feasibility study, leaving the plans in jeopardy.

Howard Mortimer, then head of Wirral Council's special initiatives team explains the plans for New Brighton's £150m Ocean Dome in 1997
Howard Mortimer, then head of Wirral Council's special initiatives team explains the plans for New Brighton's £150m Ocean Dome in 1997

A Community interest company called Our Lido Ltd had announced last year it was working on plans for a new 50-metre, heated, year-round outdoor swimming pool known as the ‘People’s Pool’ project, which it is understood received £12,500 in pre-development funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA).

In a meeting of Wirral Council’s economy and development committee in March, a proposal to contribute £67,500 from an £80,000 sum the council had already pledged towards a feasibility study for the project was rejected by councillors.

While New Brighton is thought to be the preferred location for the pool, no decision has yet been made and several councillors on the committee were sceptical about giving £67,500 to the scheme given the financial risk to the council at a time when money was tight.

The committee said that although it could not award the money it would support the People’s Pool in principle, leaving the hopes and dreams of a New Brighton finally having an outdoor pool once again still very much up in the air for the now-thriving seaside town.