The redevelopment of Templemore Baths is part of our £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme for the city. We have secured a £5 million grant from the National Lottery's Heritage Fund towards the £17 million project to restore the existing building to its former glory and extend to provide new facilities.
A total of £45 million is being invested in leisure facilities in east Belfast. In addition to the project at Templemore Baths, we are investing £8 million on the redevelopment of Avoniel Leisure Centre, where the focus will be on outdoor leisure provision and indoor flexible space, and work is complete on the new £20 million Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre, where the focus is on aquatics.
Work on Templemore Baths is due to commence in August 2020.
Unique selling point
The overall aim of the project is to create a sustainable, long term leisure facility that will preserve and enhance the surviving original features of this landmark building and extend its footprint to provide modern-day leisure and spa facilities.
The agreed facilities are:
- Learning and engagement information centring on the history of the baths and surrounding area
- Restoration of original features, including existing swimming pool
- Restoration of existing caretakers house
- existing pool / learner pool
- 25 metre, six lane pool with partial moveable floor
- spectator seating
- 80 station gym
- Spa facilities
- On-site parking
- Enterprise areas
Heritage of the baths
Templemore Baths are the last working public baths in Ireland and were opened in the late nineteenth century. 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.
The baths are one of the few remaining links to a time when inner east Belfast was a thriving industrial community, and although part of the complex remains in use today, around 50 per cent of the building is vacant and in various stages of disrepair.
Many of the buildings original features such as the twin entrances, which reflect first and second class admissions, the minor pool and the slipper baths remain largely intact, although they have been long abandoned. This ambitious project will restore these features and ensure they are maintained for future generations to enjoy.