Campaign to save Tynemouth outdoor pool gets backing from Bondi Beach

There is a campaign to restore Tynemouth Pool. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Plans to return Tynemouth outdoor pool to its former glory have garnered support from almost 10,500 miles away in Australia.

Paula Masselos, Mayor of Sydney's Waverley Council, compared the pool to the famous Icebergs pool at Bondi Beach.

She has urged North Tyneside Council to consider the benefits that a functioning outdoor pool would bring to Tynemouth and the wider region.

The planning application for the restoration of the structure at Longsands Beach is due to be discussed by the council after a long-running campaign.

Drawing comparisons between the pools, Mayor Masselos described the Bondi Beach pool as a vital part of the community she serves.

Ms Masselos said: "Like your Tynemouth outdoor pool, Icebergs has had its share of ups and downs over the past century but it is one of the most recognisable tourist destinations in Australia. It provides year-round leisure facilities for our local community.

"In Australia ocean pools are a part of our wider community to swimming surfing and paddleboarding, as we know their value to place, physical health, and mental health. Whether you're a child learning to swim or an older person wanting to maintain good health and social connections.

A CGI of the proposed pool. Credit: Friends of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool

"In Waverley we have six, we actually have six ocean pools catering for all levels of fitness and ability, so you can see they are a much-loved part of our community.

"With hard work and the right people behind your project, you too have an amazing opportunity to the beautiful Longsands beach. So, I urge all stakeholders and decision-makers to carefully consider having such a pool and how it can benefit your community and visitors and showcase the specular Tynemouth coastline and the North East.

"So, go on, dive in, and I actually look forward to taking a swim in your wonderful pool once it's open."

The lido was first opened in 1925 but closed in 1990 when a new indoor pool was opened.

The restoration plans whilst popular, with 1,894 public messages of support on the council's planning website, have been dealt a blow by council officers who recommend the plans be rejected.

Officers raised concerns over temporary kiosks, the viability of external funding, and ecological impacts.

Barry Bell, from the Friends of Tynemouth Outdoor Pool, said: "We can't thank Mayor Masselos enough for the video message. We love talking to people who operate other lidos and outdoor pools across the UK, and they also tell us that their pools are thriving and bring huge benefits to their communities.

"But to receive such a heartfelt message, and some brilliant advice, from one of the world's most famous outdoor pools, and from literally halfway around the world in Bondi, is surreal. It tells us that we must be doing something right.

"Just like Bondi pool, we believe a new outdoor pool at Tynemouth will also play a major role in local lives and in people's health. It will be a much-loved part of the community that will benefit residents and visitors alike, and it could become a destination that's just as recognisable as this incredible pool in Australia.

"We urge North Tyneside Council, and the planning committee, to consider what's at stake - and to imagine the possibilities that a new Tynemouth Outdoor Pool could bring. But, most importantly, we can't wait to welcome Mayor Masselos to Tynemouth for a swim as soon as our pool is open."

Councillors are set to decide the fate of the proposed development at 6pm on Tuesday 4 July at North Tyneside Council's Cobalt headquarters.

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