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South Shields sea front swimming pool progress

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Architects and designers sought for £16m Pierside leisure facility

Some thought it would be no more than a pipe dream but South Tyneside Council is now actively seeking an Architect, Quantity Surveyor, Structural Engineer, M and E Services Engineers, Filtration Engineer and Clerk of Works to work up plans and designs of a swimming pool to be located on South Shields sea front. I call this a major sign of intent and cause for good hope.

Our council is looking to provide a building that meets BREEAM assessments and is environmentally low impact, sustainable and low cost to run in terms of it’s energy efficiency and carbon footprint, all in a building suitable for use by schools, clubs and the general public. It is envisaged that the swimming pool will include fitness facilities, cafe and indoor public space together with external public areas and services. It is part of a major plan to redevelop the sea front area to help provide more indoor facilities for our residents, visitors and tourists, something which we have fell behind on in recent years, however the recent redevelopments at the Ocean Beach Amusement Park and the fledgling attempts to provide an additional four star hotel, as well as the restoration of the South Marine Park indicate the desire to make good progress and provide regenerative projects that will provide sustainable employment and give a boost to the local economy.

The council is looking for between four and six operators to compete for the tender which could be worth up to £16m with the aim of completing the project within 24 months of being awarded the contract:

The contract will be divided into three phases as set out in the Scope Of Works document. The first phase (pre-contract) is anticipated to start in January 2010 and to take approximately 6 months and the second and third phases 16-18 months plus defects liability period (tender/contract process and post contract).

This blog has always promoted the good sense in sympathetic development of our sea front which I regard as a major asset and a draw for visitors not just throughout Tyne and Wear but from much further afield, and this project, likely to be built on the site currently partially occupied by the Pier Amusements and Lasar Quasar and including a derelict back area, is ideally suited to provide some of the facilities required on those days when the weather is not exactly “Costa del Tyneside”. Today’s news can only be regarded as extremely encouraging and I hope that the lure of such a contract will provide a great opportunity for a successful developer to provide much needed employment during the construction stage, and that South Shields acquires a facility that people will want to visit and use for many years to come.

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Written by curly

November 12, 2009 at 10:37 am

7 Responses

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  1. They say size doesn’t matter but when it comes to swimming pools it does. I refer back to my blog post from June.


    November 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm

  2. It should be 50m. How do you train for any event that is 50m when we have a 25m pool. Just make it a leisure pool and be done with it. Shut temple park down and start again. And don’t forget to charge high parking rates as temple park is free


    November 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

  3. Surely a trip down the road to Sunderland is not beyond those serious swimmers who wish to train, to suggest that 50 metre pools on every doorstep are the future cannot be a serious financial option to any local authority, how many 50 metre pools do Newcastle or Gateshead have? A 25 metre pool is sufficient to encourage learners and families to take up swimming and if there is an obvious talent then it is a step up to the Sunderland pool.

    cherry bear

    November 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm

  4. South Tyneside council is planning to spend £16 million on a 25m pool. According to the Sunderland council website their 50m Olympic standard pool and state of the art wellness centre cost less than £20 million.

    The financial difference between accepting mediocrity and achieving excellence isn’t as great as you assume Cherry Bear.


    November 14, 2009 at 9:57 am

    • Yep, 16 million for 25…… another disgrace.

      Why not do something that bit different… An ice rink. Sunderland closed down, Durham, the arena is/was going to be pulled down. Only the one at whitleybay.

      Now considering we have a team at Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and other minor leagues lets build an ice-rink!!!

      ice dance

      November 17, 2009 at 9:43 am

  5. Of more concern is the annual running costs of such an extensive facility.

    cherry bear

    November 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  6. Talking of regeneration and the beginning of a new era under a new Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council, one has to make a comparison with North Tyneside which has seen a huge transformation of it’s river frontage and North Shields town centre. However, a lot of it has been at the expense of it’s major asset, the coastline. They appear to have run out of money and are struggling to complete their plans for the old Spanish City in Whitley Bay. On my travels over the water I could often weep seeing the degeneration of Tynemouth and Whitley Bay over the past twenty years or so.

    I am far more confident that South Tyneside will not allow a similar set of circumstances to befall our own sea front and I’m sure that planners and councillors, as well as residents, see the sea front as a major asset to protect and sympathetically redevelop to help retain and grow the tourist trade in South Shields.
    I have often thought that some of the major development projects over the water were politically directed with resources targeted to vote winning wards for Labour at the expense of “greater vision” for their borough, something which our new Chief Executive might not need to grapple with here in South Tyneside.


    November 16, 2009 at 11:06 am

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