Newcastle Ocean Baths overhaul begins

17 Sep 2017

Preparatory work on redevelopment of the Newcastle Ocean Baths is underway with demolition of an unsafe part of the structure and reinforcement of the facility's heritage façade.

The dilapidated swimming club and substation at the northern end of the pavilion will be demolished over the next two months after both were deemed unsafe by a structural engineer.

The heritage façade on the north-western corner will be shored up as part of the work.

Newcastle Ocean Baths

A new building containing a community function space and public amenities is being investigated for the northern pavilion site as part of a proposed upgrade, which would also improve the public domain around the pools and connections to the Bathers Way coastal pathway.

"Newcastle Ocean Baths are a historic landmark along our coastline and it's important we undertake this work to protect the site for future generations to enjoy," Newcastle City Council Interim CEO Jeremy Bath said.

"This project is about preserving the building's heritage value and improving the standards of the facility to meet today's expectations and making it attractive to potential investors for further development.

"We hope this project will create interest from the private sector in joining with council to develop a site that includes fine dining by the sea and cafes."

Access to the baths will be maintained during the work but some pedestrian and traffic diversions around the site are anticipated.

The baths and pavilion are listed as having local heritage significance, and a statement of heritage impact has been prepared to ensure the works adhere to relevant regulations.

Council is now exploring the feasibility of rebuilding the northern wing for community use, and leaving the southern pavilion for future improvement.

Design and documentation of the new community building and public domain works are expected to be completed this financial year.