South Newcastle Beach transformation begins.

Construction of a $12.6 million extension of Bathers Way Coastal Pathway has begun.

The project will take around two years to complete and aims to re-activate South Newcastle Beach with a kiosk, new public amenities, accessible skate bowl, landscaping, shade and seating, exercise equipment and viewing areas.

The construction start on Tuesday (18 August 2020) was attended by City of Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen, professional skater Poppy Starr-Olsen, and Bathers Way Community Reference Group Member Helen Cummings (at left).

“It’s wonderful to see work begin on transforming a long-dormant part of Newcastle’s coastline,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“By renewing infrastructure and building new facilities, we will revive South Newcastle Beach as a vibrant and attractive place for locals and tourists alike as part of our wider coastal revitalisation program.

“Completed sections of the Bathers Way have seen usage increase by more than 50 per cent, with Merewether one of the busiest due to its additional facilities, and we expect to see a similar lift from this project.

“Increased foot and cycling traffic will increase activation and provide a welcome boost for local businesses in Newcastle East.”

Preceding the final Bathers Way sections through the park and along Memorial Drive, the project has been guided by the Bathers Way Community Reference Group.

Community feedback in 2018 on the original concept plan prompted modifications to move the skate bowl within the existing promenade footprint, garnering majority support in further community engagement last year.

The NSW Government has contributed $5 million through its Restart NSW program, specifically under its Resources for Regions Fund.

The NSW Government was proud to support such an important community project said Catherine Cusack, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter.

“Extending the landmark Bathers Way Coastal Walk is a significant project for the local community, providing much needed recreational facilities and amenities along this stretch of the coast,” Ms Cusack said.

“The Resources for Regions Fund provides funding to projects across NSW to increase the attractiveness of regional NSW as a place to live and do business. We’re pleased to see the start of works for this project today and look forward to its completion.”

The coastal revitalisation project will better connect the East End with King Edward Park, where the most challenging section of the Bathers Way will soon be the subject of a concept and detail design process informed by engagement with the community.

The Bathers Way is a seven-stage capital works program spanning six kilometres of coastline that began at Merewether in 2012.

It was followed by the completion of the Bar Beach, Dixon Park and Nobbys to Newcastle sections.

Newcastle Beach, King Edward Park and Memorial Drive are the final legs.

Artist’s impression of the final version of Bathers Way. Newcastle South Beach, view north.