HISTORY lovers and former users of the Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths will get a last chance to bid farewell before the venue undergoes a major refurbishment.
The last chance tours are free and will take place on April 20 and 21 before workmen move in to start construction this spring.
The tours of the building, which dates back to 1928, will be hosted by representatives of owners Fusion Lifestyle and campaign group Reopen Newcastle Turkish Baths.
This is the first opportunity members of the public have had to enter the City Pool since its closure in March 2013. It is also the last time the building will be accessible until it reopens in spring 2018.
Anthony Cawley, director of operations at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “People from across the North East have a real connection with this place and there are lots of memories tied up in the venue.
“We couldn’t begin work on site without giving the public an opportunity to have one last look.”
There’s no need for swimming costumes and caps on this tour, instead attendees will be greeted with an unusual glimpse into this currently disused Newcastle cultural icon.
While the pools may be empty of water and the Turkish Baths frozen in time the tours will take an optimistic look forward to the reopening.
Anthony said: “After a campaign to save it by the Reopen Newcastle Turkish Baths Group, Fusion Lifestyle took the building on with a vison to restore it.
“Fusion Lifestyle’s mission is to make sport, fitness and wellbeing facilities affordable and accessible to all.
“It is in an independent, registered charity that aims to deliver choice and value, helping people to live healthier, more active lives.
“The charity has more than 90 swimming pools, sport and fitness facilities across the UK.”
The £5million programme of work will see the building undergo a transformation to become a stunning, top quality fitness and wellbeing venue for the 21st century – while sensitively restoring and retaining the building’s original art deco listed heritage features.
The venue will include a public pool, Turkish Baths, a spa with treatment rooms, fitness suites, exercise studios and café bistro.
Anthony added: “While the tours will give people a chance to revisit old memories we’re looking forward to giving people across the North East a place to make memories for many years to come.
“I expect there will be lots of demand for this tour, but we can only accommodate up to ten people per tour, so I’d encourage people to book early.”
Cait Read from the Reopen Newcastle Turkish Baths group that campaigned to save the venue, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to see Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths as they were and to get a glimpse of some of the behind the scenes areas not normally shown to the public.
“It’s a great chance to hear first-hand from Fusion the plans for restoration and redevelopment of this important and much loved historical building ahead of the work starting, and to ask questions about the project.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Fusion over the coming year to bring Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths back into use as an affordable and accessible leisure resource for the people of Newcastle.”
Tours of Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths take place on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 April between 10am-3pm and will last around 45 minutes per tour.
To book your tickets go to www.newcastlecitypooltour.eventbrite.co.uk