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First look inside revitalised historic city centre gem

FITNESS fanatics and sanctuary seekers can get a glimpse into the £7.5m restoration of one of Newcastle’s most-loved buildings.

The highly-anticipated reopening of The City Baths is fast approaching and now, Fusion Lifestyle, the charity behind the redevelopment, has released a sneak preview of what the building’s stunning new health and fitness suite will look like.

The ongoing specialist restoration sees the Grade II historic gem revitalised to combine modern facilities – including a swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness studios and a spa with treatment rooms.

The new 3D renders of the striking health and fitness suite showcase the ultimate workout space, complete with the latest cardiovascular equipment including running, rowing machines and indoor cycling bikes.

The CGIs also show functional workout spaces and dynamic stretch areas, as well as industry leading strength and conditioning equipment.

Anthony Cawley, operations director at Fusion Lifestyle said: “We know how eager everyone is for The City Baths to reopen and we’re working incredibly hard to create something special that can be enjoyed by the people of Newcastle and surrounding areas.

“We can’t wait for the day the doors reopen and we can show off the restoration first hand, but we now, this sneak peek shows what’s coming very soon.”

Those looking for a workout with a difference will also have access to state-of-the-art, private fitness studios, with the upper level set to host yoga and dance classes.

As well as this, The City Baths will offer a jam-packed calendar building up to 130 exercise classes per week including Fusion’s bespoke HIIT & functional training classes, INTENCITY and popular Les Mills classes.

£7.5m restoration of City Baths going swimmingly

The highly-anticipated reopening of one of NE1’s most-loved buildings is just around the corner.

Work to transform Newcastle’s City Baths is nearing completion and the £7.5m restoration by charity Fusion Lifestyle will see the Grade II building revitalised to combine modern facilities – including a 25m swimming pool, health and fitness suite and a spa with treatment rooms.

Specialist works are also ongoing to bring the building’s much-loved Turkish baths back to life – and Newcastle will soon be home to one of only a few still in operation in England.

Throughout the redevelopment, Fusion has worked with a group of specialist companies including leisure, design and build expert Createability to sensitively restore as many of the building’s original features as possible, while introducing modern architectural structures.

Those looking for a workout with a difference will have access to striking two storey glass-fronted studios, as well as an impressive health and fitness suite, complete with the latest gym and training equipment.

The City Baths will also offer a jam-packed calendar of more than 130 exercise classes per week including Fusion’s bespoke HIIT & functional training classes, INTENCITY and popular Les Mills classes.

The current building opened to the public in 1928, with the history of baths on this site dating back even further, to when famous Newcastle son, John Dobson, built private baths in 1838 at a cost of £9,500.

City Pool featured on Channel 4’s Guy Martin: Building Britain

We are so excited to finally share this exciting project we’ve been keeping under wraps for a while now.

Our beautiful building is featured on Channel 4’s Guy Martin: Building Britain – a new show that explores the UK construction skills shortage.

Episode two sees Guy visit Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths to learn more about the redevelopment taking place and even try his hand at some specialist restoration skills.

Check out the episode and get a behind the scenes look at the restoration work underway…

Watch Video

Works begin on Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths

Work to redevelop the historic Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths has started.

Developer Fusion Lifestyle, in partnership with a group of specialist companies, will begin the £5m renovation of the city centre building.

An expert team from the firm will begin work immediately on the project, which has faced unforeseen delays often associated with buildings of this age.

Fusion, a registered charity, has developed exciting plans to bring the pool and Turkish baths back to life, and add a spa, fitness suite and café bistro to the site.

The plans include restoration of the Turkish baths and swimming pool, the creation of a new state-of-the-art fitness suite, glass fronted conditioning studios on the first and ground floor and contemporary changing areas.

Works will also deliver a new spa which will offer a range of treatments and improved access for disabled people.

It is estimated the works will be completed by the summer of 2019.

Anthony Cawley, operations director at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “We’re delighted to start the exciting work to bring the Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths back to life for a new generation.

“The reinvigorated venue will bring between 100 to 150 jobs to the city once re-opened.”

Fusion Lifestyle secured planning permission and listed building consent from Newcastle City Council in 2016 after spotting the historic venue thanks to the community campaign to save the building by Re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths and City Pool Group.

The charity – which runs leisure venues across the UK – reinvests profits back into its operations to provide affordable health and fitness facilities for communities.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, said: “It’s great to see redevelopment work starting on this historic city treasure. This is a beautiful building that we were determined would not be lost to the city.

“Newcastle has been through a lot of difficult changes as a result of Government austerity, and we have had to search for new ways of providing the services residents want and depend on.

“The investment about to go in to the City Pool is a great example of that. Newcastle City Council said we would not turn our back on leisure facilities and keep all options open, and by working with Fusion we see this building saved for people to enjoy.

“This time next year we’ll be getting ready for a renewed City Pool bringing with it at least 100 jobs to our city centre. I look forward to that next step.”

Fusion will work with a collection of specialists, including leisure design and construction firm Createability.

Ian Cotgrave, managing director of Createability, said: “The restoration plans will turn this historic 1920s building into a stunning leisure destination fit for 21st Century use.

“We have more than 20 years’ experience working alongside leisure trusts, including Fusion, sensitively redeveloping and refurbishing old leisure venues and this has to be one of the most exciting projects we have worked on to date. We cannot wait to reveal the beautiful facilities to the local community once more.”

The works will include careful restoration of many of the building’s original features, such as the original 1920s pool tiles, wood-panelled changing rooms and terrazzo flooring in the Turkish baths.

Cait Read of the Re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths and City Pool Group said: “We are delighted that work will finally start to restore and re-open Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths.

“What great news, in this year that is the 90th anniversary of the building first opening its doors to the public, that it will be restored, renewed and will re-open serving the people of Newcastle and visitors to the city as was originally intended.

“We will continue to be involved alongside Fusion to ensure that the building re-opens as an affordable and accessible facility for all.

“We are also planning to explore the unique heritage of the City Pool and City Hall building and to mark the 90th anniversary of its original opening in 1928.”

City Pool and Turkish Baths visit inspires Historic Pools of Britain

AN ORGANISATION set up to represent Britain’s bathing heritage visited an iconic building in Newcastle as part of National Sporting Heritage Day celebrations (September 30, 2017).

Historic Pools of Britain visited the Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths to see the plans to restore it to its former glory.

The group, which is celebrating its second anniversary and has raised awareness of other historic pools across the country that require restoration, has kept a keen eye on the plans to reopen the City Pool and Turkish Baths.

Gill Wright, founder of Historic Pools of Britain, said: “There is huge interest in the restoration of pools across the country and it was good to discover how the Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths project is developing.

“Over the past two years, we have seen the positive impact on the public when historic pools have been preserved and reopened, and I’m excited about that happening for the people of Newcastle.”

The pool and baths will be given a new lease of life following a £5m refurbishment by Fusion Lifestyle, a sports and leisure management organisation and registered charity.

When the work is complete, the venue will feature a public pool and Turkish baths, fitness suites, exercise studios, a spa with treatment rooms and a café bistro.

Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths was closed in 2013, with it following in the footsteps of many other historically significant pools across the country including in Manchester, Reading, Bath and Birmingham.

Campaign group Re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths and City Pool played a fundamental role in raising awareness of the building’s situation and Fusion Lifestyle saw the opportunity to get on board and add the site to its UK portfolio.

Cait Read, of Re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths and City Pool, said: “We were delighted to be able to host an event here in Newcastle for members of Historic Pools of Britain.”

“While we were campaigning for the City Pool and Turkish Baths to re-open, membership of Historic Pools provided invaluable support, inspiration and insights from other pool campaigns around the country, so we were thrilled to welcome the group here as the restoration of Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths is about to begin.”

Historic Pools of Britain visited Newcastle’s Theatre Royal where its members, representing pools from across the country, and a team from Fusion, discussed progress of the project before visiting City Pool for a tour of the building.

Tim Mills, director of business development at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “It was great to meet the members of Historic Pools of Britain and get their feedback on the plans for Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths, while sharing our expertise on similar projects.

“Fusion is dedicated to providing high-quality facilities to local communities and we’re proud to have been able to do this across the country, and now in Newcastle.”

As part of its visit to the North East, the group also enjoyed a tour of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool, an out-of-use lido on Longsands beach that has been earmarked for restoration.  It was built in the 1920s but fell out of use in the late 1970s as more people started to holiday abroad.

Soap star joins in support of City Pool plans

A FORMER Emmerdale actress has joined supporters of the redevelopment of Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths.

Charlie Hardwick, who played Val Pollard in the hit TV show, visited the historic building recently to celebrate the venue’s refurbishment.

Charlie, from Wallsend in North Tyneside, was a regular at the city-centre Turkish Baths until they were closed in 2013.

It was welcome news to her that the pool and baths will be given a new lease of life following a £5m refurbishment by leisure charity Fusion Lifestyle.

She said: “I’m so thrilled that the Turkish Baths are being saved.

“I remember the pool from swimming here as a child. When there were swimming galas on the noise was so deafening, with hundreds and hundreds of kids screaming their mates on.

“I didn’t know the Turkish Baths downstairs existed until later on, when I was introduced by the writer and poet Julia Darling.

“We would meet here on a Tuesday and we would cook up plans. In a completely relaxed state where there was no stress – everything seemed possible when we were talking in the Turkish Baths.”

Charlie also supported the community-led campaign group, Re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths, which sought to save the venue back in 2013.

The campaign caught the eye of charity Fusion Lifestyle, which runs over 90 facilities across the UK and successfully applied for planning permission last year.

The new facility will reinstate a public pool and Turkish Baths, as well as introducing a spa with treatment rooms, fitness suites, exercise studios and a café bistro.

Anthony Cawley, operations director at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “The City Pool is genuinely loved by the community and everyone is interested in the progress of the redevelopment.

“I find it fascinating to listen to all the memories from visitors and those interested in the scheme – and Charlie is one of those people.

“We are continuing with the design and preparation of the building and the site – it’s important to get the details right.

“And we’re looking forward to getting on with the job in hand and inviting Charlie and all the other fans of the building back next year when City Pool and Turkish Baths is due to reopen.”