Elswick Pool development making a big splash!
Newcastle City Council is thrilled to announce that the development and reopening of Elswick Pool has taken a huge step forward.
Newcastle City Council Leader Nick Forbes and Councillor Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for culture, sport and public health, will officially hand over the lease to Elswick Community Pool and Leisure Centre charity, who will drive forward the work to bring the pool back to use.
The council has worked closely with the dedicated group of local volunteers, partner agencies and funding bodies to develop a plan that will develop the swimming pool, create a new café and sauna and secure its future. The development of this plan included consultation with over 800 residents – feedback from which helped shape the plans.
The pool, which closed in October 2015, is at the heart of the community and the city council outlined its desire to bring in a community group to operate the building as soon as the closure was announced.
The council will complete work to bring the building back to how it was before the closure, including repairing the roof and water pump before further modernisation is completed by the Elswick Community Pool and Leisure Centre charity.
Councillor Kim McGuiness, cabinet member for culture, sport and public health said;
“I am really pleased to announce that the development of Elswick Pool has reached this vital milestone and that the community group can start bringing the facility back to life.
“This is a celebration of the brilliant work of the local residents and volunteers who have set out ambitious plans and taken a dedicated approach to the development since the closure was announced three years ago.
“Newcastle City Council is keen to work with community groups to support leisure facilities and allow residents, voluntary organisations and charities to step forward and manage these much-loved buildings.
“I believe strongly that creating vibrant neighbourhoods that support all residents, families and visitors to live healthy, active lives is vitally important and has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the whole city.
“Community interest groups who create workable plans are important in protecting these services.
“I look forward to seeing this pool thrive and working together in the future”
Diane Tait, speaking on behalf of the Elswick Community Pool and Leisure Centre charity said;
"We are absolutely delighted at this decision and would like to pay tribute to the 3,500 residents who have backed us all the way in our campaign to get the pool re-opened.
"We are looking forward to working with them, the city council and our partners, in providing a fantastic facility that can be enjoyed again by the whole community."
Friends of Elswick Pool have been supported through funding by Power to Change, the community business arm of the Big Lottery Fund and Centre West, Newcastle’s West End community regeneration business. There has also been financial support from Elswick and Monument Ward Community Funds and a £100,000 crowd funder campaign has been launched by the Elswick Pool group.
Once complete the revamped pool is expected to create over 20 jobs. In addition, 24 lifeguards will be trained in partnership with Newcastle College which has also pledged its support to the development.
The Elswick Pool Community group will manage the day to day running of the pool once it is opened, with support from the team behind Jesmond Pool, a similar model that is being run successfully by Jesmond Community Leisure.
The opening of the pool is expected to take place ahead before the new school year starts in September 2019.
Organisational Quotes –
Centre West Partnership Director, Graeme Williams.
"Centre West have worked for the last three years in partnership with the Elswick Community Pool and Leisure Centre group.
"We are proud of the groups achievements to date and look forward to working in partnership to reopen the Pool for the benefit of the whole community as soon as possible."
Newcastle City Council Leader Nick Forbes, cabinet member for sport, culture and Public Health Kim McGuinness is joined by members of the Friends of Elswick Pool, local school children and ward members who have supported the development of Elswick Pool.