MULTI-million-pound plans to transform a Hampshire leisure facility are due to be unveiled today.

An internationally-renowned firm of architects will outline its vision for Lymington’s famous seawater baths, which have been at the heart of the town for more than 180 years.

Council chiefs have approached Conran & Partners in a bid to give the ageing facility a new lease of life.

Founded by award-winning designer Sir Terence Conran, the Londonbased firm has recently drawn up plans to restore Brighton’s Saltdean Lido.

Its proposals for the Lymington facility include a new cafe overlooking the Solent and the entrance to the Lymington River.

If the scheme goes ahead the baths will be split into two main areas. One section will host sports activities while the other will continue to be used as a swimming pool.

Town councillors say the site’s new status as a grade II listed building could place severe restrictions of any major redevelopment.

However, they hope that Conran’s involvement in the Saltdean project, which also involves a listed structure, will make progress possible.

Representatives from the firm will give a presentation at today’s meeting of the council’s amenities committee.

Cllr Alan Penson, chairman of the policy and resources committee, said: “We have asked Conran to give us their thoughts about what could be done with the seawater baths now that it’s a listed building.

“Their initial ideas include slightly reducing the length of the pool and constructing a unique and attractive cafe that would be a signature building.

Daily Echo:

Youngsters enjoying the lido

“The remainder of the pool would be divided into two sections. The larger portion would be retained for sports activities, including kayaking, and the rest would continue to be a swimming pool.

“There’s obviously a great deal of work to be done, including discussions with the conservation people and a lot of technical input.”

Cllr Penson said that potential sources of finance could include the Heritage Lottery Fund, a low interest loan and maybe even a public appeal.

He added: “It’s obviously a long-term project that will take several years, but it needs to be done if we want future generations to enjoy the benefits of the lido.”

The site is owned by the council but is run by a private company, Lynx Sports Management.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the firm was brought in by the authority in 2013 to revitalise the baths and has already added new features, including a climbing tower and zorbing facilities.

Conran declined to comment ahead of tonight’s meeting, which takes place at the Town Hall at 6pm and is open to the public.