Outdoor pool could be a splash hit all over again

Tynemouth Outdoor Pool and Lido.
Tynemouth Outdoor Pool and Lido.

A ONCE-popular open-air swimming pool could be about to make a big splash again.

North Tyneside Council is drawing up plans to give Tynemouth’s derelict outdoor pool a new lease of life.

It has put together a planning application including proposals to improve access to the old lido, at the south end of Tynemouth Long Sands, and provide a space capable of hosting cultural and sports events.

One of the initial sets of plans drawn up could see the pool area converted into a venue for activities including beach volleyball or theatrical performances.

An informal play area with stone seating and a raised viewing platform could be created to the north end of the pool site, with performance space created at the south end.

An alternative option could see a wet play area provided, including a paddling pool and fountains created at the north end of the site, with a small theatre or open-air gallery to the south west.

Viewing cubicles could also be created on the headland to give people a chance to look out over the North Tyneside coastline. Efforts are now being made to find funding for such a scheme, expected to be less than £1m.

Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “Improving Tynemouth pool is one of my own priorities for coastal regeneration.

“Residents have also told us that it is a key coastline priority for them along an otherwise-fantastic coastline. The
 council has listened to our residents’ view and worked with design colleagues at Kier North Tyneside to develop a potential scheme that could be ready to take forward when funding is available.

“The scheme would aim to address, as a priority, the problem of water inundation into the former pool area.

“This would see the removal of the rock pools and levelling of the area, the addition of more effective drainage, the heightening of the boundaries and the replacement of the railings.

“The proposal is also to create a viewing platform in one corner of the site to take advantage of the stunning views of Tynemouth Long Sands, with the remainder of the site given over as an information events space that could link into the promenade and be used by both the council and others.

“Subject to planning approval, we would aim to use the proposed scheme, which would cost under £1m, to explore funding to take this forward for delivery in the near future as part of our wider coastal regeneration strategy.”

The outdoor pool was opened on May 30, 1925, following a campaign for a safer swimming following the deaths of several swimmers there previously.

Changing rooms were built at the site two years later in response to the success of the pool, with queues to use it often stretching along Grand Parade.

It was converted into a rock pool in 1996 and is now in a neglected state.