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Leisure comes to the fore in east Belfast

28 Nov 2017
People in east Belfast are being asked to give their opinion on proposals for the restoration and extension of Templemore Baths and the redevelopment of Avoniel Leisure Centre.

Part of the council’s £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme, the redevelopment of both sites represents a major part of a £40 million investment in east Belfast’s leisure facilities.

Public consultation opens today and runs until Sunday, 14 January. Development proposals for both Templemore Baths and Avoniel are available to see at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/consultations.

Each site will have its own unique selling point to attract users. The Heritage Lottery Fund is contributing £5 million towards the £17 million investment at Templemore Baths where the focus will be on heritage preservation, spa provision and increased swimming provision.

Chair of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, said: “I would urge everyone to get involved in the public consultation – these are major investments and we want to ensure that they accurately reflect the needs and wants of the people of the area.

“The facilities that will be available at Avoniel and Templemore, once work is complete, along with those on offer at the new Robinson Centre when it opens its doors in 2019, will bring a wide leisure choice to the people of east Belfast.

“In total we’re developing seven new centres across the city through our Leisure Transformation Programme. Each centre will provide state of the art leisure facilities while also offering their own unique facilities,” added Councillor Hargey.

Agreed facilities at Avoniel include:
• One intermediate standard 3G pitch
• Three covered 3G five-a-side pitches
• Two outdoor 3G five-a-side pitches
• One outdoor 3G seven-a-side pitch
• 240 covered seats
• Two studios / multi-purpose rooms
• Two meeting / training rooms
• Changing facilities for teams, officials and individuals
• Play service provision
• On-site car parking

At Templemore the overall aim is to create a sustainable, long-term leisure facility that will preserve and enhance the remaining original features of the landmark building while extending it to provide modern day spa and leisure facilities. These will include:

• Heritage interpretation and learning areas
• Extensive spa facilities
• 25 metre pool with partial movable floor and spectator seating
• Restoration of the existing pool/learner pool
• 80 station gym
• Exercise studio
• Space for enterprise areas

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is contributing £5 million pounds towards the restoration of Templemore and Paul Mullan, Head of HLF NI said:

“Templemore Baths is a very important piece of Belfast’s heritage and we are delighted that the Council and the community are working towards transforming the Baths into a fitting leisure venue for people to use and enjoy. The new project will put the restored baths at the heart of the community once again, providing a boost to the local economy through the creation of employment and training opportunities. We would encourage people to get involved in the consultation to make sure this irreplaceable historic asset is safeguarded for the future”
Templemore Baths in east Belfast