A once derelict swimming pool has been transformed into a vibrant and welcoming community hub, thanks to a £4 million project involving staff from Birmingham City Council, Acivico, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Balfour Beatty and people from the local community.
Primarily financed by HLF and Tesco, through the sale of the former Stirchley Community Centre site, the restored Grade ll listed building formally opens for business as Stirchley Baths on Thursday 14 January. It follows a three year building project and many years of community support to get the building reopened.
Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “Thanks to the hard work and vision of council staff, partners and volunteers, what was once a dilapidated and derelict pool has now been restored, renovated and reshaped to become an outstanding facility. I am particularly impressed by the way local people have been involved in this project at every step, and having been involved I am confident that they will nurture and care for this centre at the very heart of the community.”
Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, Les Sparks, said: “Money raised by National Lottery players has helped re-open this Edwardian treasure, bringing it back to life in January for the first time since 1986. It will be a fantastic asset for the local community and an excellent venue to have on your doorstep, as well as for visitors from further afield. This project is an excellent example of how HLF funding can breathe new life into old buildings.”
The new centre will provide space for the local community to meet with support for heritage, arts and culture, health and wellbeing, learning and enterprise. It will also be available for weddings, events and parties. The swimming pool itself has been converted into a community hall. Other facilities include a cinema space, meeting rooms, and café and there are historic displays throughout the site, including the original architect’s plans, quotes from former baths users, old photographs and a display of old signage and pool steps.
The former Bournville Lane Swimming Baths opened in 1911 on a site given by the Cadbury brothers but despite being Grade II listed, closed in the late 1980s.
For further information about Stirchley Baths or to make a booking visit http://stirchleybaths.org/ or call 464 9072. Stirchley Baths is at 2-4 Bournville Lane, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2JT. The twitter account is @stirchleybaths
For further media information contact Press and PR Officer Debbie Harrison on 303 4476
Note to editors
Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFWestMids