Sea Lanes Brighton opens to swimmers

Sea Lanes Brighton, the UK’s First National Open Water Swimming Centre opens to the public on 2 June 2023. 

Brighton is now the proud home of the UK’s first National Open Water Swimming Centre, opening 2 June 2023. Located on Brighton beach, the new heated, six-lane, 50m open air swimming pool is the first of its kind and has brought a derelict Peter Pan site on Madeira Drive back to life and will provide much needed swimming provisions for the city.

The new pool is open to the public on a pay-per-swim basis, while over 1,250 members have already signed up. There are also beachside cold showers and lockers available for sea swimmers to use free of charge.

It’s supported by local businesses, with tenants including Swimtrek, The Little Beach Clinic, Sea Gym Brighton, Paddle People, South Downs Leisure and Brighton Surf Life Saving Club, among many others. 

A long journey

In 2015 Brighton & Hove City Council were seeking to continue the regeneration of the seafront by requesting expressions of interest for the redevelopment of the high-profile leisure site formerly known as The Peter Pan Leisure Park. 

Sea Lanes was chosen for its potential to bring Madeira Drive back into focus. Delivering a permanent 50m open air heated swimming pool, to increase the number of visitors and fulfil wider regeneration plans. 

“We have been on quite a journey from entering into Brighton & Hove Council’s competition in February 2015 to opening today,” said Joe McNulty, Sea Lanes Brighton Director.  “Sea Lanes captures the spirit of Brighton & Hove. We have a 21st Century design, using the latest construction technology, with an acknowledgement of Brighton’s 19th Century heritage when it was synonymous with swimming and wellbeing.

Currently Brighton has a major shortfall in swimming pool provisions, only reaching 44 per cent of the Government’s target. Open water swimming has not only seen a spectacular 20 per cent annual growth since the 2012 London Olympics but also an explosion in participation from the recent pandemic.

“Sea Lanes will meet the demands of creating a seaside attraction, supporting swimming provisions and providing a hub for all open water swimmers in the region and further afield,” said McNulty. “The focus of the pool is for training and coaching, and it will act as a stepping-stone to facilitate swimmers and all water users to gain the skill, confidence and technique to start accessing the sea, both safely and enjoyably.”

Increasing the accessibility of open water swimming

Sea Lanes Brighton is supported by a host of open water swimming enthusiasts, many of whom are an integral part of the Brighton and Hove community. 

“Sea Lanes is a unique venue perfectly positioned to increase the accessibility of open water swimming for swimmers of all abilities in the local area,” said Olympic medallist Keri-Anne Payne who officially opened the new pool and provided a swim Masterclass. “The benefits of open water swimming are vast and a venue like this offers so many people the opportunity to experience and enjoy them.”

“Whether you are looking to gain the confidence to take the plunge into the open water or trying to achieve those marginal gains on the first leg of your triathlon, come and see how Sea Lanes can help you achieve your swim goals!”

To book a swimming slot or apply for membership visit the website.

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.