City to prioritise upgrades to Newcastle Ocean Baths' pools

04 Jun 2020

City of Newcastle will begin upgrading Newcastle Ocean Baths from early next year to improve the safety and accessibility of its two pools while community consultation continues on future improvements to the site’s historic pavilions.

Remediation of the 1920s-era facility’s swimming pools, promenades and pump house are among the first stage works presented to the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group (CRG) this week.

“Newcastle Ocean Baths is treasured by our community and we know how important it is to get on with the upgrades to the pools while at the same time ensuring the community has a role in co-designing improvements to the iconic pavilions,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“That’s why we’re prioritising a refurbishment of the pools and their surrounds to improve safety and accessibility while ensuring adequate time to work with the community on a plan for the pavilion that respects the heritage and integrity of the site.

“The City will work with the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group over the coming year to develop concept designs for the future pavilion upgrades, which will then be available for further community feedback.”

The CRG was formed to help plan the renewal through discussions and co-design workshops.

Concept designs for the upcoming upgrade to the pavilions and surrounds will be developed with CRG input and be presented to the broader community for comment prior to final concept design being placed on public exhibition.

The elected Council will then consider the plan before the project progresses to detailed design.

Preliminary engagement was carried out for the future use of Newcastle Ocean Baths from November 2019 to March 2020 to capture the community’s wishes.

The engagement activities were promoted right across Newcastle to ensure the broadest number of people had a chance to comment, and included:

  • An online ideas wall that drew 840 comments on Newcastle Ocean Baths
  • 898 telephone surveys
  • 129 intercept face-to-face surveys for Newcastle Ocean Baths at locations across the LGA

Results included support for improving shade and access, maintaining the aesthetic of the existing site and enhancing the kiosk offering. The full engagement report can be downloaded here.