It’s Time to Restore Tynemouth Pool and Give People Some Well-Being and Pride
19th February 2023
The renovation of the Tynemouth Outdoor Pool appears to be up for Council review in the next few weeks and the community need to see some real resolution and progress on this absolutely dilapidated eyesore.
Its continued existence in its current state is an embarrassment to Tynemouth.
Tynemouth is meant to be one of the best places to be in the entire country. Why then should it have to bear this hideous sight on its most pristine length of Blue Flag beach?
It was neglected and shut down in the 90s and the Council thought it’d be a good idea to try to let nature reclaim it and attempt to turn it into a gigantic rock pool. But the granite blocks and concrete terracing are still very much stark and in situ. It was never going to turn into some kind of natural tidal pool like a giant version of the quaint and hidden table rocks in Whitley Bay. What we are left with today is an ugly reminder of the pessimism that pervaded the place at the time.
It’s a disgrace that the pool has been left to rot for this long. There’s been no vision or recognition from the Council of how a renovated pool would directly improve the well-being of the community and add to the value of Tynemouth.
The point of a lido is to brighten up people’s lives and attract people to the area.
Look at Portishead Lido in Bristol or Tinside Lido in Plymouth and many others around the country that have been given new life. Is Tynemouth not on the same level as these places? Is Tynemouth just a backwater that’s not worthy of the effort or the investment?
Look at how many fond memories and how much enthusiasm there is for the old Tynemouth pool. It fell out of fashion in the late 80s and 90s when we started becoming less healthy and more convenience driven as a society. Much of this still stands today. Despite the boom in open sea swimming, the hotter summers and the increased flow of visitors, if the pool were reopened, it would have to be heated.
I’m sure the heating bill is the big issue here. But that’s a problem that can be addressed on several fronts:
- The FOTOP proposal is to reduce the size of the pool to 25m to reduce costs, which seems reasonable.
- Charge £2 to enter. Everyone has £2 in their pocket, so it’s not prohibitory but really counts as a contribution.
- Add a pay-to-use sauna and hot springs. This would generate good revenue.
- Build a 3 or 4 floor arcade on the bankside. This could be a bit of a homage to the Plaza, even with a glass roof so people can see right along the beach. Use the space on the lower floors for the Surf School and for small shops plus cafes and bars, so the businesses pay for the heating from their rates.
- Install solar panels.
- Install a heat pump under the turf on Sharpness Point that draws thermal energy from the ground.
The pool is one corner of the Longsands that can be commercialised and should be commercialised, to let an array of small businesses shine in an appropriate place and put a smile on people’s faces.
The cost of renovation is probably another issue, but this has to be viewed as an investment: a much needed and smart investment.
The Friends of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool have a vision and a plan, but they have been campaigning for so long without progress. It’s time the Council took action for the sake of the seafront, the village and the borough. The pool is part of Tynemouth, it needs to be treated as such.
It’s a no brainer and it’s time to act.
Add your support to the planning application here: https://idoxpublicaccess.northtyneside.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=OFELOXBHHMF00&activeTab=summary