Amenities upgrade to ensure new swim season is accessible for all

21 Sep 2023

Construction of a new accessible changeroom is underway at Wallsend Swimming Centre as City of Newcastle continues to enhance its public swimming pool facilities for the new season.

Swimmers will be welcomed back in the water at the city's five inland pools on Saturday, following the earlier season re-opening of Lambton War Memorial Swimming Centre last month.

Community members will be greeted with refreshed and upgraded facilities, with safety improvements, extensive re-painting, and maintenance of the pool tiles and promenades completed across the swimming centres during the closure period.

Construction of the new accessible changeroom at Wallsend is also progressing and is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said improving access to the city's pools was a priority under CN's adopted Inland Pools Strategy 2043.

"City of Newcastle is committed to maintaining and investing in our network of inland swimming centres to ensure they continue to meet the expectations and evolving needs of more than 320,000 people who visit them each year," Cr Nelmes said.

"That's why we developed our Inland Pools Strategy 2043, which sets out an investment plan for Newcastle's network of public swimming pools to ensure they are fit-for-purpose in the long term and made accessible to all members of the community."

Councillor Margaret Wood, co-chair of CN's Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, welcomed the addition of an accessible changeroom at Wallsend Swimming Centre.

"The new changeroom at Wallsend Swimming Centre will be a welcome addition to this popular community facility. This work will ensure all five of our inland swim centres provide accessible amenities, with more work to come including hoists for access to the pools," Cr Wood said.

City of Newcastle has invested more than $5 million upgrading and $2 million maintaining the city's public pool network during the past few years.

Work on the new grandstand at Lambton is expected to be completed in November, while additional tiered seating structures have been installed at Lambton, Mayfield, Stockton and Wallsend Swimming Centres.

A new playground has been installed at Beresfield, with a new shade sail to enhance the comfort and enjoyment of the community out of the water, while Stockton lap swimmers will benefit from new lane ropes this swimming season.

Plans to regulate the water temperature at the Wallsend and Mayfield pools are also moving forward. City of Newcastle will increase its investment to around $1.5 million to allow for significant electrical upgrades to accommodate the heat pumps, which will be used alongside rooftop solar thermal matting to provide warmer water at the start and end of the swimming season.

Timelines for the project are subject to external approval for changes to the electrical infrastructure, however the upgrades are expected to be completed in coming months at Mayfield and early in the new year at Wallsend.

The swimming season at Mayfield, Wallsend, Stockton and Beresfield pools will run from Saturday 23 September until 28 April 2024, with Lambton remaining open until 26 May 2024. City of Newcastle lifeguards will also begin their summer season along the coastline this Saturday with patrols at Stockton Beach, Nobbys Beach, Newcastle Beach, Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach and Merewether Beach, as well as the Merewether Ocean Baths.