Category Archives: Repairs

PRESS RELEASE: Friends vow to reverse Council decision on Lottery bid

PRESS RELEASE

Friends vow to reverse Council decision on Lottery bid

17th December 2012

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths are dismayed to learn of Birmingham City Council’s decision not to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for work to the Baths building, which would secure its long term future.

The group have been inundated by comments from supporters since the news broke last week. Chair of the group, James Gillies said,

‘There really is a strength of feeling amongst the public that this is a golden opportunity to use the building to its full potential and to regenerate the area. Those who contributed to the bid feel massively betrayed and have vowed to push for it to be submitted in the next round.’

The bid required Birmingham City Council to commit £3million so as to receive £5million from the HLF for the renovation work, which would total £8 million and would be due to begin in 2014. However, the current freeze on Council capital expenditure whilst a review is underway means that the Council has missed the 14th December deadline for submitting the bid. Rachel Gillies, Secretary of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths said,

‘The Council is faced with a choice to either allocate £3 million for works starting in 2014 and to receive the £5 million additional investment from the HLF. Or, they can continue to neglect the building and spend vast sums of money on emergency repairs. Their short-termism is costly to local tax payers and a disaster for this nationally important building.’

The bid included:

• Work to the exterior of the building to make it watertight for another 25 years
• New machinery for the running of the pool
• Boarding over Pool 1 (the Gala Pool) for community use until money could be found (in a Phase 2 HLF bid) for the reopening of that pool for swimming use
• Increasing access to the building for educational, arts and historical projects

The bid is the culmination of months of work by contractors and council officers. Birmingham Conservation Trust has undertaken an extensive consultation exercise, which hundreds of people responded to, including schools, arts organisations, local colleges and regular swimmers.

Suzanne Carter from Birmingham Conservation Trust who led the recent consultation for the HLF bid said,

‘It’s very disappointing news that the bid is not being submitted just yet. There is such a lot of support for the restoration of the Baths from swimmers and the local community. It is clear from our consultation that the Baths is a much loved local historic landmark. It is so important that the money is found so this amazing building is no longer at risk’.

The Friends group is now looking to meet with members of the Cabinet and council officers to urge them to make every effort to commit the money required and to submit the bid in the next round of applications in June 2013.

Note to Editors

Moseley Road Baths is a Grade II* listed building and as such the Council has a statutory obligation to maintain the building.

The building has two pools, one is currently in use and is open for public, lane, school and group swimming, as well as swimming tuition. The ‘Gala Pool’ has been closed since 2003.

An on-line virtual tour of Moseley Road Baths can be viewed at www.moseleyroadbaths.co.uk and the Friends of Moseley Road Baths have an active blog at www.friendsofmrb.co.uk and can be found at www.twitter.com/moseleyrdbaths

Council fail to submit HLF bid

We learnt earlier this week that the Council’s bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Phase 1 of restoration work to the building will not be put forward as they have decided that they will not be able to put £3million match-funding towards the £8million bid.  The full text of their letter to us is below.  We will be issuing a press release shortly.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with your comments.  We know that there has been a huge amount of support for this bid and hundreds of people have been involved in the consultation exercise.  We will be working hard to make sure that your views are heard.

Letter from Council re. HLF bid - 11/12/12

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!

‘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

Our campaign is on a roll!

HUGE thanks to everyone who has sent their letters to Cllr Kennedy and copied them to us as part of our latest campaign!  Councillors in the Hall Green Constituency of all political colours should be in no doubt that the public are passionate about reopening Moseley Road Baths for swimming and securing its future as a swimming facility.

The details of the Constituency meeting on 20th March have been announced:

To be held at 1900 hours on Tuesday 20 March 2012
SPARKBROOK COMMUNITY AND HEALTH CENTRE, 34 GRANTHAM ROAD, SPARKBROOK, BIRMINGHAM, B11 1LU

We will be handing Cllr Kennedy, as Chair of the Constituency your letters.  Please attend and add your voice if you can!

As well as sending in your letters, we are encouraging people to take photos to express their support.  We want to illustrate why people enjoy swimming at the Baths, so get a marker, some paper, some swimming props (be as inventive as you like!) and get a snap that we can share online and at the meeting!  One little boy has already contributed!

I WANT TO SWIM!
We’ll be at Kings Heath Farmers Market this coming Saturday (3rd March), so come along and have your photo taken by one of our volunteers!

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.

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

Urgent campaign action!

E-mail

  • No more excuses!

  • No more delays!

  • We want to swim!

You may know that the re-opening of the Baths has recently been pushed back to the beginning of April 2012 for repainting of the ceiling (see latest update from Cllr Mullaney).  As Councillor Mullaney says, he has challenged the need to repaint the ceiling, “since from my perspective the baths have been closed long enough and this constant discovery by Health and Safety of yet another issue, just as we are about to re-open has to stop.”

There is a constituency meeting on the 20th March.  We need to send a message to the local councilors, loud and clear, that the pool must be re-opened.  We urge you to please:

  • add your voice and send a message to the local councillors (and/or to us)
  • get your friends and children to send their messages;
  • attend the meeting (see notes below).

Thanks for your support.

  • Messages can be in any format: signs, pictures, posters, cards, letters, photos, videos etc.  Please get them to us as soon as possible and by the 16th March at the latest.
  • Write your message to the Constituency Chairman, Councillor Kennedy, and send a copy to us.  We will present it at the meeting.
  • The Hall Green constituency meeting is at 7pm on Tuesday 20th March.  We will inform you of the venue once it has been confirmed (likely to be in Sparkbrook).