Northern Ireland news

Revamp of historic Templemore Baths in east Belfast gets underway

Templemore Baths in east Belfast which is being restored. Picture by Hugh Russell

WORK has started on the £17 million restoration and expansion of Templemore Baths in east Belfast.

Templemore is the sole surviving Victorian public baths on the island of Ireland and one of the few remaining in the UK that still delivers its original function, with most of its original interior fabric and fittings intact.

The project will see many of the historic building's original features sympathetically restored, including the existing swimming pools, slipper baths and caretaker's house.

A new extension will provide an additional six lane 25 metre pool, spa facilities and an 80 station fitness suite.

An extensive interpretive space will also be added to tell stories relating to the history of the baths.

Belfast City Council is investing £12 million in the project, with the remaining £5 million coming from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Work is due to be completed by autumn 2022.

Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey said they are "one of the city's most historically significant buildings, dating back to 1893" and the upgrade is part of the council's £105m Leisure Transformation Programme.

"Our investment reflects the importance we place on making life better for all our residents by improving their health and wellbeing, reducing life inequalities and regenerating neighbourhoods," the DUP representative said.

Mukesh Sharma of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said they are "delighted" to see the work get underway.

The Leisure Transformation Programme is the largest investment in leisure facilities in the UK, with four new leisure centres already opened - Olympia, Andersonstown, Lisnasharragh and Brook and a new facility at Avoniel expected to open in 2021.

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