Category Archives: Birmingham

Have you been involved in a MRB art project?

Moseley Road Baths has always been a real inspiration to people doing creative, exciting things. A couple of weeks ago editorialgirl took a tour of the building and took this wonderful selection of photos, which complement her previous collection from 2009’s Flickrmeet for local photographers which we featured on here at the time.

We’re wanting to hear from others who have been involved in arts events at the Baths:

Have you ever organised an art event at Moseley Road Baths? Have you ever taken part in one, or just attended? If so, then The Friends of Moseley Road Baths would love to hear from you. As part of our Pool of Memories History Project we’re researching all aspects of the building’s 105-year history. So if it was an art show, a video shoot, fashion show, play, exhibition, TV appearance, or anything else then we’d love to hear from you. Maybe you were at Immerse, Swimming Without Water, saw Stan’s Cafe’s show, or maybe you have a copy of the Gangsters episode which included the baths, or the Dalzeil and Pascoe show that featured Norman Wisdom! If you think you might be able to help, memories or memorabilia (posters, tickets etc), then do get in touch at memories@friendsofmrb.co.uk.

Astounding response to Heritage Consultation!

We have seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the consultation work that Birmingham Conservation Trust have been doing as part of the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration and heritage projects at Moseley Road Baths.  There is a great write up on their blog.

Baths Questionnaire

Lots of you have been completing questionnaires on your ideas for the building (these can be found at the Baths and many local community venues), there was lots of interest at the Eid Mela a few weeks back, 133 people took a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour last weekend, every single department at Joseph Chamberlain College has expressed an interest in using the Baths with students, plus this week we are meeting with local schools to discuss their vision for activities at the Baths. Phew!

I was lucky enough to meet with Suzanne Carter, part of the team from Birmingham Conservation Trust conducting the consultation, and representatives from local arts organisations. We took a tour around the building, delving into nooks and crannies. It’s so inspiring and affirming to see people getting visibly excited by the possibilities in the space.

We spoke about how the individual cubicles for the slipper baths could be used creatively, how the archive from the Pool of Memories could be used as inspiration, and we got very excited talking about how everything from the smallest detail of the tiles and marble to the huge expanse of the Gala Pool could be employed for photography, film, projection, dance and drama.

It’s clear to me that we have a really wonderful opportunity to combine the heritage and beauty of this inspiring building with the creativity and talents of local people.  Let’s push to make sure that we can make these things happen!

Timetable now online

We have just posted up a new page with the most recent timetable for the Baths. Please note that this is correct as of today’s date but it is subject to change and we urge you to contact the pool directly on 0121 464 0150 to check for any changes. Timetables are also available from the pool along with details on how to register for a Passport to Leisure card if you qualify for cheaper swims, and direct debit options if you are a regular user of the pool.

MRB swim timetable

‘Behind the Scenes’ at Moseley Road Baths!

This Sunday, 2-6pm there is a rare opportunity to delve behind the scenes of the Grade II* listed building to see how the pool is run and to see bits of the building not open to the public. This is as part of a consultation exercise looking into ideas for a restoration bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. No need to book – just turn up!

MRB-event-16-September

£3million match-funding approved for HLF bid

Cllr Mullaney has sent us this update on progress with the HLF bid.  Let’s push to make sure that this £3m of match funding doesn’t suddenly disappear when needed…

£3million now set aside by the Council for Moseley Road baths

At todays Cabinet meeting it was agreed to set aside £3million in the future capital fund, to be used as match funding in a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)  bid for phase 1 of the restoration of Moseley Road baths.

This is a significant development, since the success or failure of a HLF bid will turn on the level of match funding provided by the Council…..and this level of match funding will be looked on favourably by the HLF.

This decision, now gives us the go ahead to start preparing our HLF bid, which will most likely be submitted in June.

The total cost of phase 1 of the restoration works is £8million. With the £3million agreed by Cabinet today, this means we would apply for £4.99million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the bid under £5million, it will be considered by the Regional HLF Board. We have a far greater chance of a successful bid at regional level. If the bid was for £5million or more, than it would be considered at the national HLF board, where you are up against the Buckingham Palaces and Stonehenges of the World..

Any successful HLF has to go through two stages in the HLF process. If our bid was successful, then the earliest the HLF monies would be available is 2014.

The phase 1 restoration of Moseley Road baths will require the building to be closed to the public for two years and would do the following:
Permanent repairs to the exterior fabric of the building with a life of 25 years – so basically a complete re-roofing to stop any water ingress
Complete re-wiring and new machinery (eg new boilers) for the pool. We would be particular keen to install a combined heat and power system in the boiler house. This would heat all the buildings along Moseley Road and help to regenerate this corridor.
Pool 2 maintained as a community swimming pool
Pool 1 boarded over and used for community use.

Phase 2 of the restoration would involve getting pool 1 back in use as a swimming pool. Estimated cost of doing this is £9million.

The timing of 2014 as the earliest date for the start of phase 1 of the restoration fits in perfectly with the re-opening of Sparkhill pool in 2014. Once this re-opens, this will allow us to close Moseley Road baths for 2 years for this phase 1 restoration

Heritage Lottery Fund Bid details from Cllr Mullaney

As promised, here is Cllr Mullaney’s update on the Council’s bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.  As always we would welcome your thoughts on this.

…I’m hoping to have the report signed off to release the money to fund a heritage specialist to pull together the Heritage Lottery Bid for phase one of the works to restore the baths.

The total cost of phase 1 of the restoration works is £8million. Finance have agreed to set aside £3million in future capital budgets as the Council’s contribution to this restoration. This means we would apply for £4.99million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the bid under £5million, it will be considered by the Regional HLF Board. We have a far greater chance of a successful bid at regional level. If the bid was for £5million or more, than it would be considered at the national HLF board, where you are up against the Buckingham Palaces and Stonehenges of the World..

The submission of the HLF bid will now most likely go to Cabinet for approval in June. Any successful HLF has to go through two stages in the HLF process. If our bid was successful, then the earliest the HLF monies would be available is 2014.

The phase 1 restoration of Moseley Road baths will require the building to be closed to the public for two years and would do the following:
– Permanent repairs to the exterior fabric of the building with a life of 25 years – so basically a complete re-roofing to stop any water ingress
– Complete re-wiring and new machinery (eg new boilers) for the pool. We would be particular keen to install a combined heat and power system in the boiler house. This would heat all the buildings along Moseley Road and help to regenerate this corridor.
– Pool 2 maintained as a community swimming pool
– Pool 1 boarded over and used for community use.

Phase 2 of the restoration would involve getting pool 1 back in use as a swimming pool. Estimated cost of doing this is £9million.

The timing of 2014 as the earliest date for the start of phase 1 of the restoration fits in perfectly with the re-opening of Sparkhill pool in 2014. Once this re-opens, this will allow us to close Moseley Road baths for 2 years for this phase 1 restoration

Baths on track for April reopening?

This is the latest update we have from Cllr Mullaney about work to the building and the prospects for reopening this Spring.  A further update will go out soon about a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Update on Moseley Road baths – 26th February 2012.

Work on the final phase to get Moseley Road baths re-opened in April is well under way.

Followers of the present saga to get these historic baths re-opened will be aware of how much hair I’ve been pulling out over this issue. What started out as a six week closure in December 2010 for a simple lintel replacement,  escalated as health and safety found more and more issues to prevent its re-opening.

Each issue has been resolved and we are now on the final piece of work to remove all the flaky paint from the ceiling of Pool 2 and to replace all the stolen roof lead.

For more on the flaky paint issue, please read my blog report at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2012/02/moseley-road-baths-re-opening-delayed.html

For more information on the stolen roof lead, please see my other blog report at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/2011/11/update-on-moseley-road-baths-19th.html

As you will see from the attached photos of the interior of Pool 2, the erection of the scaffolding is nearly complete. The scaffolding will be complete on Wednesday 29th February – one and a half weeks ahead of schedule.

Removal of the flaky paint using a special epoxy resin will begin straight away. A specially developed Dulux paint for use in a high humidity atmosphere will be applied. Flaky paint removal and repainting will take three weeks.

Removal of the scaffolding will then take 10 days.

Replacement of all stolen lead with a lead substitute will take place in parallel. Also, using the knowledge of the pools staff, efforts will be made to get rid of other roof leaks.

We estimate that all work will be complete by 4th April. The pools re-opening will then be based on how long it takes to refill the pool.

Our response to Labour Party Statement

Thank you all for your response to our campaign so far.  We’ve had an impressive response which really highlights how passionately the public feel about the building as a swimming facility!

The Labour Party has now contacted to us as a result of our most recent campaign, clarifying their position on Moseley Road Baths (full text here).  Whilst we welcome this, there are still a number of issues we feel have not been addressed (this is equally true of other political groups in the city and other councillors in the Hall Green Constituency).  We will be taking these up with local councillors and candidates and would urge others to continue to lobby.  You may wish to include some of these points in your own correspondence.

  1. Your position makes no mention of swimming.  Please can you clarify your position on Moseley Road Baths as a swimming facility?
  2. You tell us we need to ‘all engage constructively’ even though we are only just being given information about the Labour Party’s position in response to our campaign with an election looming.  We are a visible, vocal campaign group yet you have not engaged with us so far.  Given such an appalling track record of consulting with the public and engaging with The Friends of Moseley Road Baths, can you give us a concrete idea of what ‘engaging constructively’ looks like?  How will pool users and local residents be consulted and kept informed?
  3. The last Constituency meeting in January 2012 voted to draw up an options appraisal on the future of the building.  Surely deciding to put the Baths into Corporate control preempts this?  You have declared and voted on one thing in public yet intend to do something else.
  4. Moseley Road Baths are already ‘under central’ in terms of capital provision and refurbishment.   Provision of a swimming facility for the local community and its day-to-day running and maintenance are the responsibility of the constituency.  This is so for all the constituencies, together with an annual amount from centre towards these.  Refurbishment works are capital works and are already under the centre.
  5. Birmingham City Council does have a Heritage Strategy in place, (BCC Heritage Strategy 2007-12.pdf) , and a Heritage Steering Group, and an application for national Heritage Lottery funding is scheduled for Moseley Road Baths this April.  Will you commit to backing the HLF bid which is currently being developed?
  6. The running of Birmingham’s Sport and Leisure facilities is currently out to tender yet you make no mention of this in your statement.  How does this fit in with your position?
  7. You seem to want to put emphasis on the actions of the current administration.  We fail to see the value of this beyond party politics.  This is an unnecessary distraction and we refuse to be drawn into it.  We take the actions of political groups and councillors on their own merit.

Friends of Moseley Road Baths

20th February 2012

Labour Party statement on Moseley Road Baths

We have received the following statement from Labour Party candidate for Moseley and Kings Heath ward Lisa Trickett in response to your e-mails and letters.

Dear Friends

Like many of you, and as a once regular user of Moseley Road Baths I share your frustration at the continued closure of our local swimming pool. Along with the Labour Councillors on the Constituency Committee I support your campaign to secure a sustainable future for the Baths, which was exactly what officers were asked to explore at the last meeting of the Constituency   Committee.

The Committee also wanted to be advised why the current administration had not sought to make Moseley Road Baths a corporate priority which is seen to be the first step given that Constituency Committees do not have the powers or resources to deliver on such a significant asset.

We continue to urge the Council to take corporate responsibility, however, following representations from myself and Cllr Kennedy, I am delighted to be able to confirm that the Labour Group has now agreed that in the event of Labour taking control of the Council, the Baths would be made a corporate responsibility enabling the combined capabilities and resources of the Council, community and key stakeholders to be brought to bear in securing a future for the Baths.

At long last we have a potential opportunity to work together to deliver a positive outcome.  It is critical that we ensure that that we all engage constructively in the outcome we seek and together secure a sustainable future for Moseley Road Baths.  I along with my colleagues look forward to talking with you further.

Kind Regards
Lisa Trickett
Labour Candidate Moseley and Kings Heath Ward