The Block 2016: What we know so far

Adam Smith 14 July 2016

The block 2015 how to select the right timber

The new season of Nine's hit reno show is approaching. Here's what we know about it.

The 12th series of The Block will premiere on 22 August, with five new couples set to take on the challenge of renovating a heritage building in Melbourne's inner-city suburb of Port Melbourne. Here's what we can expect from the new series.

The building

The property contestants will tackle this year is a 1920s art deco factory in the bayside suburb of Port Melbourne.

The building at 164 Ingles Street was formerly the home of the Symex Soap factory. Nine is thought to have purchased it from property tycoon Harry Stamoulis for $5 million. The network said the building had been left to squatters before it was purchased for the series.

Contestants will have their work cut out for them. A look on Google Street View shows the building covered in graffiti.

The Block

Series host Scott Cam said the building had great potential for the would-be renovators.

“This building is an absolute beauty. The word floating about this site is epic. It’s a building rich in history and will hopefully make a few more  Australian couples rich too," Cam said.

Co-host Shelley Craft said renovating a building from this era was a first for the show.

“One of the real challenges facing the contestants will be interpreting its heritage significance. But after a lot of complicated and physically demanding work the transformation of this building is going to be amazing – if the couples get it right. Any preconceived ideas about their style will be thrown out the door as soon as they walk in,” she said.

The contestants

The series' new Blockheads come from a wide range of backgrounds:

Property stylist Julia (31) and software account executive Sasha (42), partners of four years, from Melbourne

Primary school teachers Andy (25) and Ben (24), best mates, from Geelong

School teacher Kim (32) and detective Chris (34), married four years, from Newcastle

Handyman Dan (55) and hairdresser Carleen (52), married 30 years, from Perth

Quantity surveyor Karlie (25) and electrician Will (25), engaged, together nine years, from Brisbane

Contestants Julia and Sasha have already made history as the series' first same-sex couple.

The cast

Nine has confirmed hosts Scott Cam and Shelley Craft will return, along with judges Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer. Mercurial site foreman Keith Schleiger will also return, along with his "right-hand man", Dan Reilly.

“This series has gotten off to a cracking start – one of our best yet. It is going to give Aussie viewers great pleasure watching these Blockheads restore this building to its former glory,” Cam said.

The latest Block 2016 episode recaps

Images: Nine Entertainment, Google

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