Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre Redevelopment Project

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Demolition Update - November 2021

It is exciting to see the progress Darebin Council and Kane Constructions have made on the demolition of the old NARC.

Mayor Cr Lina Messina was out on site in November – see the video below:

Once completed, the new NARC will offer indoor and outdoor pools as well as increased opportunities to participate in health and wellbeing activities, through larger and additional programming spaces and an added warm water pool for exercise and rehabilitation.

Together with improved health and wellbeing outcomes for our community, the construction project for NARC will also bring economic benefits. During the construction period, it is expected the project will generate over 230 jobs (construction, manufacturing and professional services), and over 120 jobs once the new facility is operational.

The new facility is expected to be completed mid – late 2023.


NARC Fly Through

Check out an artist's impression of the new facility!


The Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Project is supported by the Victoria Government.


During the redevelopment:

To help NARC members continue their health and wellbeing activities, Council has been working behind the scenes with the current operator, the YMCA, as well as some of our neighbouring Councils, to provide alternative fitness and swimming options for you to consider.

These include options and discounts for health club memberships, swimming lessons and older adult programs at other venues.

View more information on what nearby swimming and gym options are available.

You might also like to read the FAQs relating to the closure and memberships.


Tennis Court Access

To make a casual booking for the tennis courts please head to https://play.tennis.com.au/northcotetennis

You will be sent an email upon confirmation of your booking that will contain gate access information.

Vehicle parking closest to the tennis courts is on Clifton Street.


Project Background

The renewal of the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) is part of the Darebin Council Plan 2017–2021, supporting our goal to expand opportunities for participation and social connection through sport, physical activity and other leisure activities.

After community consultation and a feasibility study, the design concept was prepared.

You can still view the concept designs for the proposed renewal of NARC (on the right).

To find out more about the project including the community consultation, you can view the NARC project background document.

At the ordinary Council Meeting on Monday 17 August 2020 Council endorsed the procurement approach for the construction tender, commencing with seeking expressions of interest from suitable contractors.

More details on the procurement process can be found in the Council Report.



If you would like to speak to someone in your preferred language, please contact us or call 8470 8470 to be connected to a Language Aide or an interpreter.


Demolition Update - November 2021

It is exciting to see the progress Darebin Council and Kane Constructions have made on the demolition of the old NARC.

Mayor Cr Lina Messina was out on site in November – see the video below:

Once completed, the new NARC will offer indoor and outdoor pools as well as increased opportunities to participate in health and wellbeing activities, through larger and additional programming spaces and an added warm water pool for exercise and rehabilitation.

Together with improved health and wellbeing outcomes for our community, the construction project for NARC will also bring economic benefits. During the construction period, it is expected the project will generate over 230 jobs (construction, manufacturing and professional services), and over 120 jobs once the new facility is operational.

The new facility is expected to be completed mid – late 2023.


NARC Fly Through

Check out an artist's impression of the new facility!


The Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Project is supported by the Victoria Government.


During the redevelopment:

To help NARC members continue their health and wellbeing activities, Council has been working behind the scenes with the current operator, the YMCA, as well as some of our neighbouring Councils, to provide alternative fitness and swimming options for you to consider.

These include options and discounts for health club memberships, swimming lessons and older adult programs at other venues.

View more information on what nearby swimming and gym options are available.

You might also like to read the FAQs relating to the closure and memberships.


Tennis Court Access

To make a casual booking for the tennis courts please head to https://play.tennis.com.au/northcotetennis

You will be sent an email upon confirmation of your booking that will contain gate access information.

Vehicle parking closest to the tennis courts is on Clifton Street.


Project Background

The renewal of the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) is part of the Darebin Council Plan 2017–2021, supporting our goal to expand opportunities for participation and social connection through sport, physical activity and other leisure activities.

After community consultation and a feasibility study, the design concept was prepared.

You can still view the concept designs for the proposed renewal of NARC (on the right).

To find out more about the project including the community consultation, you can view the NARC project background document.

At the ordinary Council Meeting on Monday 17 August 2020 Council endorsed the procurement approach for the construction tender, commencing with seeking expressions of interest from suitable contractors.

More details on the procurement process can be found in the Council Report.



If you would like to speak to someone in your preferred language, please contact us or call 8470 8470 to be connected to a Language Aide or an interpreter.

  • Construction Award Announcement

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    At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on Monday 23rd August 2021, after a competitive tender process, Darebin Council awarded the construction contract for redevelopment of the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) to Kane Constructions Pty Ltd.

    The new NARC will be a 6 Star Green Star rated facility: the highest rating possible in the Green Building Council of Australia’s sustainability rating system, demonstrating Council’s commitment to and leadership in responding to the climate emergency.

    The design has been shaped by community consultation and completed by Warren and Mahoney Australia.

    Darebin Council has also consulted significantly with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation throughout the development of the design of the facility and the landscaping. Consultation remains ongoing throughout the project to achieve integrated outcomes.

  • NARC not reopening

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    Due to the ongoing Covid lockdowns in Victoria, Darebin Council has made the decision to not reopen the facility. This is only a few weeks earlier than our original planning for closure to allow for the full redevelopment of the facility.

  • Detailed designs are being finalised.

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    After collecting your feedback, detailed designs are being finalised including consideration of traffic impact, landscaping design and environmentally sustainable initiatives which will enable Council to deliver the NARC 6 Star Green Star certified design.


    Further project updates will be provided to the community in late 2020.

  • We have collected your feedback!

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    Thanks to everyone who got involved and provided us feedback. We heard from the community through our online survey link, mail, emails, phone calls and virtual meetings.

    We have now collated the feedback and reported the key themes back to the community, as well as advised the Design Team which will help to inform future design developments for the new facility.

  • Covid-19 Update

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    Responding to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic remains Council’s priority. As part of this effort, we are committed to progressing strategic capital works projects that will benefit the local economy.

    The redevelopment of Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre is an important project that will boost the local economy and provide many jobs for local people as well as ensure residents have access to a welcoming and innovative space to exercise and socialise in. We are planning now so that NARC can meet the needs of the growing community for years to come.

    The immediate spend on the renewal of NARC is projected to be $3M in the 20/21 draft budget, to continue the design phase of the project.

    The $63.5M allocated for the renewal of NARC is spread throughout the life of the multi-year project and does not impact Council’s ability to support the community in response to the pandemic.

  • Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre - Feasibility Study

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    In late 2017 through to early 2018, Council sought feedback from NARC users and members, local residents, community groups and local schools who use the centre. The feedback received from this consultation contributed to a feasibility study.

    The feasibility study and community consultation found that NARC is a highly valued and utilised community asset, however it is not meeting the current needs of the community. While the facility has been upgraded over the years, as it was built in 1968, a new facility needs to be developed to cater for existing and future needs. This brings with it an opportunity to make significant improvements to the functionality and services offered at NARC.

    The feasibility study was considered by Council in September 2018, and in June 2019 Council awarded the contract for the design of the new facility to Warren and Mahoney Architects Australia.

    What’s next?

    As the project progresses, we look forward to providing updates for a community focused, welcoming and innovative NARC facility.

Page last updated: 02 December 2021, 15:05