Community Group successful in bid to list Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths as Asset of Community Value

Friday 10 January 2014

Save Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths have been successful in their bid to register Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths as an Asset of Community Value. The Grade 11 listed Baths and Pools were build in 1927 but closed to the public on 28 March 2013 as part of Newcastle City Council’s budget cuts.

It was Newcastle City Council itself who still own the now closed City Pool & Turkish Baths who had to approve the asset nomination.

The letter received by the group from Newcastle City Council states:

“The building was assessed against the wellbeing evaluation criteria set out on the website and was judged to be an asset that furthered the social wellbeing of the community.  The council also assessed whether it is realistic to think that the building could be brought back into a use that furthers the social wellbeing of the local community in the next five years.  Although, in the council’s opinion, it is not likely to be viable to bring the building back into use as a pool, it is possible that there are other uses of the building that could further social wellbeing, and with substantial investment it is realistic to think that the building could be brought back into use within 5 years.”

The letter states that the council recognises the building as an asset that furthered the social wellbeing of the community and still has the potential for a well-being use for the community (although they say they believe the Pool is unviable).

The registration of the City Pool and Turkish Baths as an asset of community value means from the date that the council put it on the market, community groups have 6 months to develop a Community Bid to manage and run the Pool and Baths. However at the end of the 6 month period the council could still choose to sell it to whoever they choose.

At present Newcastle City Council have not confirmed a date when they plan to market the building. It is believed that the Council are still waiting for a consultants report that they commissioned looking at the proposal that the Theatre Royal manage the City Hall and the possibility of turning the small swimming pool into an additional bar for the City Pool.

Save Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths are still waiting on further details from the council on their plans to market the site. However they have had good conversations with funders about feasibility grants to take them to the next step to manage and re-open the Baths and Pool and potential Heritage grants for the restoration of the building, as well as with individuals who can bring their skills and experience to the project.

A spokesperson for Save Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths said:

“We are delighted that the nomination to register Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths as a community asset was successful. They are an unique leisure facility for the city and an important from a heritage and historical point of view being one of only 13 Turkish Baths remaining in use in the country. There are many people from across the region who miss using the facilities.”

“This is an important step in our campaign to re-open the Baths for the people of the city. We hope that any individual or organisation who would like to be involved can come along to the public meeting upstairs at The Trent House pub on Tuesday 4 February at 6.30pm.”

Save Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths are holding a public meeting on Tuesday 4 February at 6.30pm upstairs at the Trent House Pub, where they will share the information they have discuss the next steps needed to take the bid forward.

For further information about Save Newcastle City Pool & Turkish Baths or being involved in the future community plans please follow Save Newcastle Turkish Baths on facebook or email SaveNewcastleTurkishBaths@gmail.com.