Newcastle Council has unveiled a new design for the Newcastle Ocean Baths ahead of upgrades scheduled to start mid-year.

Works in this first stage include refurbishing the ageing pools and promenades, and improving accessibility with new, fit-for-purpose ramps.

The pool’s set to get a new pump station and a renovated boardwalk.

There’s also plans to replace existing shade structures with rainproof textiles which can be removed for winter.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says the community shouldn’t be worried – the iconic blue bleachers won’t be going anywhere.

“We’ve heard valuable feedback from the Community Reference Group, which represents our broader community and Newcastle Ocean Baths users, and adjusted the design to ensure the Baths meets the needs of our community and visitors,” Cr Nelmes said.

“We’ve heard our community values the existing rounded central stairs and they’ll be incorporated in the new design within upgraded seating and improvements to ensure they meet modern standards.”

Construction is set to begin later this year, with a second stage of works focusing on the upper concourse and the pavilion structure in the future.