Sport and leisure projects

Updates on our exciting sport and leisure projects, such as the new multi-sport Narrandjeri Stadium in Thornbury.

Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre (NARC) redevelopment

The current Northcote Aquatic Recreation Centre (NARC) has reached its end-of-life and needs to be redeveloped so it can meet the needs of Darebin’s growing population well into the future.

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 to Kane Constructions Pty Ltd.

The new centre will be a 6 Star Green Star rated facility, which is 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 Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Project is supported by the Victorian Government.

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.

Once completed, the new centre 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 new centre 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.

You can sign up for email updates and offers about swimming and fitness at the new NARC facility.

For more information on the NARC redevelopment, please visit

NARC closed during COVID-19: Due to the ongoing COVID lockdowns in Victoria, in August 2021, Darebin Council made the decision to not reopen the facility.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

To help NARC members continue their health and wellbeing activities, Council has been working with the current operator, the YMCA, as well as our neighbouring Councils, to provide alternative fitness and swimming options you to consider. These include options and discounts for existing NARC members and users for health club memberships, swimming lessons and older adult programs at other venues.

Read information on the alternative options which may be of interest to you.

Narrandjeri Stadium

We're building a new multi-sport stadium in John Cain Memorial Park, Thornbury. It will have facilities for netball, basketball and even roller-derby. To find out more and subscribe to updates, visit the MSS project page on Your Say Darebin.