The £17 million redevelopment and expansion of Templemore Baths is complete and the centre is open.
We provided £12 million toward the project, with £5 million of funding provided by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project was also made possible thanks to the transfer of the former Templemore Avenue Hospital site from the Department for Communities to Belfast City Council.
Templemore is the sixth of seven new leisure facilities to be completed as part of our £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme.
The key facilities in Templemore include:
A new visitor centre
The interior of the original building has been repurposed into an interactive visitor centre focusing on the heritage of the much-loved local landmark. It tells the story of its former function as public baths and swimming pool.
Many of the building’s original features have been sympathetically restored including the ‘major pool’ which will be fully operational again, and the old slipper baths.
New leisure facilities
A newly built 28,000 square foot extension has more than doubled the building’s footprint. It includes modern leisure facilities including:
- a 25m six-lane swimming pool with spectator seating
- an 80-station gym
- spa facilities, and
- changing facilities, including a Changing Places facility for people with complex needs or mobility issues.
A new café
The former courtyard area has been transformed into a café within an attractive new atrium, featuring the original Victorian fountain which has been restored as its centrepiece.
The leisure facilities at Templemore will be managed by social enterprise GLL and the new visitor attraction will be run by EastSide Partnership.
For information on opening hours, memberships and the facilities, visit www.better.org.uk/templemorebaths
Heritage of the baths
Templemore Baths is the sole surviving Victorian public baths in Ireland and was opened in 1893. They provided washing and sanitary facilities for the families who came to live in east Belfast, attracted by the development of the Harland and Wolff shipyard and other manufacturing industries. Countless thousands of people also learned to swim in the two pools in Templemore.
In recent years, many of the building’s original features such as the twin entrances, which reflect first and second class admissions, the major and minor pools and the slipper baths had fallen into disrepair. This ambitious project aimed to sympathetically restore these features and ensure that they are maintained for future generations to enjoy.