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Date: 27 Oct 2022
Work to restore and expand Templemore Baths is progressing well, with a two-stage opening now confirmed for early 2023.
The project aims to preserve and enhance the Victorian building’s historic features, while providing modern leisure and spa facilities in a newly built extension.
The leisure facilities will include a 25m six-lane swimming pool with spectator gallery, an 80-station gym, spa facilities and changing rooms. This part of the centre will open in January 2023.
The original building will reopen in spring 2023. Within it, there will be an interactive visitor exhibition connecting people to the social history of the building and the area. It will also include many original features which have been sympathetically restored including the ‘major pool’, which will be fully operational again, and the old slipper baths. The former courtyard has been transformed into an attractive new atrium where a café will be located.
Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Christina Black said: “As the sole surviving Victorian public baths on the island of Ireland, it is fantastic to see Templemore brought back to life. So many of its original features have been painstakingly restored, and the building’s heritage will also be celebrated through the new interactive visitor attraction which will tell stories about the building’s former use and its importance to the community.
“Templemore will be the sixth of seven new and upgraded leisure facilities that make up Council’s £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme. Following the opening of Lisnasharragh in 2019 and Avoniel last year, when Templemore reopens, east Belfast will be blessed with three state-of-the-art leisure facilities.”
Belfast City Council is investing £12 million in the project, with the remaining £5 million coming from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Mukesh Sharma, Chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Northern Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the restoration and redevelopment of Templemore Baths move into the final stages. It is sympathetically blending old with new by conserving the bath house’s historic features, highlighting its fascinating social history and offering a modern leisure and wellbeing facility on this landmark site.
“Templemore Baths has always had a special place in the heart of the community in east Belfast and has been part of its history for 130 years. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players more people will be able to connect with their local heritage and we look forward to seeing the doors re-open to welcome visitors next year.”
The leisure facilities at Templemore will be managed by social enterprise GLL and the new visitor attraction will be run by EastSide Partnership on behalf of Belfast City Council.
Adrian Walker, Partnership Manager from GLL, said: “Many Belfast residents remember learning to swim in the old Templemore Baths so it is another landmark in leisure transformation to have a brand new leisure facility at this iconic site. We’re looking forward to helping more people in East Belfast get physically active, welcoming visitors to share the story of the Baths and bringing much needed jobs to the area.”
For more information visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/transformingleisure