Accessibility on the agenda as City of Newcastle delivers amenities upgrade at Wallsend pool
A new accessible changeroom at Wallsend Swimming Centre has been completed as part of an estimated $1.25 million of accessibility improvements for City of Newcastle's (CN) inland pool network.
The work is the first accessibility project to be prioritised under the unanimously adopted Inland Pools Strategy 2043, which sets out a strategic path to enhance and protect Newcastle's public pools for the community during the next 20 years.
Its completion means that all five of CN's swimming centres now provide accessible amenities, ensuring a more inclusive swimming experience for all members of the community.
Future projects proposed in the Strategy include the installation of accessible entry into each of CN's 50-metre pools, with investigations into the most appropriate means for improving access into the pools now underway.
Refurbished accessible changeroom facilities are also proposed for Lambton Swimming Centre as part of improvements in the future.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said improving access to the city's pools was a priority for CN.
"City of Newcastle is committed to maintaining and investing in our network of inland swimming centres to ensure they continue to meet the expectations and evolving needs of more than 320,000 people who visit them each year," Cr Nelmes said.
"That's why we developed our Inland Pools Strategy 2043, which sets out an investment plan for Newcastle's network of public swimming pools to ensure they are fit-for-purpose in the long term and made accessible to all members of the community.
"Accessibility is an issue facing councils across the region given almost all local pools were built more than fifty years ago."
Councillor Margaret Wood, co-chair of CN's Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, praised CN for completing the accessible changeroom at Wallsend Swimming Centre this season.
"Ensuring accessibility into, around and within activity spaces for all members of the community regardless of their age or ability is one of the key principles used to guide the investment and improvement direction of our Inland Pools Strategy," Cr Wood said.
"The completion of the new changeroom at Wallsend Swimming Centre sees this priority become a reality and will be a welcome addition to this popular community facility.
"With accessible changerooms now available at all five of CN's swimming pools, City of Newcastle has ensured a more comfortable and inclusive experience for everyone visiting our pools this summer.
"I look forward to seeing future projects continue to improve access to our pools for all members of our community."