First steps taken to demolish popular South Shields swimming pool

Demolition workers have taken the first steps to bring down a popular swimming pool which closed to the public five years ago.
First steps have been taken to start demolition work of Temple Park Centre's swimming poolFirst steps have been taken to start demolition work of Temple Park Centre's swimming pool
First steps have been taken to start demolition work of Temple Park Centre's swimming pool

Tolent Construction Ltd have been handed the task of tearing down an area of Temple Park Leisure Centre once occupied by its pool.

It is understood for the first few months, a working site boundary with fencing will be established before the removal of asbestos from the building will take place.

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Demolition work will then be carried out before a new two-storey gable wall is built. Minor remedial work will also be carried out to the east side of the Gymnastics Centre.

Land once occupied by the pool, changing village and footbridge, will then be landscaped. It is thought work on the site will be complete in late 2019.

The remainder of the building will continue to remain open throughout the works including the sports hall and the squash courts.

A spokeswoman for the Council said: “We have appointed North East company Tolent Construction Ltd who have commenced work on site. The programme of work to demolish the pool requires specialist dismantling due to the nature of the facility and we expect this to last until late 2019.

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“Once demolished, the area will be landscaped to create additional green space.”

The swimming pool, which became a much-loved and popular attraction for residents, was opened on October 21, 1977. It was the first in the region to have a wave machine.

It was closed to the public in October 2013, with people being given the chance to have a farewell swim for £1.

It’s replacement was the £16m Haven Point pool and leisure complex in Pier Pavilion, South Shields, which was opened later that same month.

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Speaking at the time of its closure, the then Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Ernest Gibson, who was one of the last people to swim in pool and slide down the Aqua Blaster, said: “It has been an amazing servant to local people down the years by creating a vast number of fond memories for generations of South Tyneside residents. I remember excitingly queuing around the block when it first opened, as I visited the Centre with my mam and dad.”

Once completed, it will mean there will be more green space added to Temple Memorial Park which was gifted to the people of South Shields in recognition of their efforts during the Second World War.