So­cial en­ter­prise se­cures £250,000 for Ed­war­dian baths

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Lizzie Mur­phy BUSI­NESS RE­PORTER @lizziec­mur­phy

An Ed­war­dian swim­ming pool has re­ceived a £250,000 grant to mod­ernise its grade two listed build­ing.

Orig­i­nally opened in 1904 as a place for lo­cal peo­ple to en­joy wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties, Bram­ley Baths in Leeds was rein­vented in 2013 as a com­mu­nity-led so­cial en­ter­prise, with the fa­cil­i­ties trans­ferred from Leeds City Coun­cil to a new man­age­ment team.

Con­sul­tancy firm WSP agreed to work with Bram­ley Baths as a pro-bono pro­ject as­sist­ing the man­age­ment team with a na­tional Pow­er2Change fund­ing bid.

This would al­low sig­nif­i­cant ren­o­va­tions to the Ed­war­dian build­ing, in­clud­ing mod­ernising equip­ment, re­duc­ing power con­sump­tion and emis­sions and, over­all, im­prov­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of the fa­cil­ity.

The team had to sub­mit a de­tailed bid and meet strin­gent cri­te­ria to qual­ify for the grant from Pow­er2Change, which holds the purse strings to a £150m en­dow­ment from Big Lot­tery Fund.

The fund­ing will be used to pro­vide a new pool plant, with a new fil­tra­tion sys­tem, pipework and valves; new air han­dling units on the pool­side and a new air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem in the gym and stu­dio.

Bram­ley Baths chief ex­ec­u­tive Sue Stones said the in­vest­ment will re­place the ex­ist­ing age­ing ma­chin­ery and hopes it will re­duce to “prac­ti­cally zero” the num­ber of pool clo­sures due to tech­ni­cal prob­lems.

She said: “This in­vest­ment will en­sure we can con­tinue to pro­vide ser­vices to the com­mu­nity for many years to come. WSP sup­ported us in this cru­cial bid and we are all de­lighted with the out­come.”

Kirk Bux­ton, WSP se­nior en­gi­neer of build­ing ser­vices, pro­vided a thor­ough as­sess­ment of ex­ist­ing plant and equip­ment at the baths, and ad­vice on po­ten­tial so­lu­tions to fa­cil­i­tate the eco-hub which will en­sure the baths meets one of its key ob­jec­tives: to be­come a sus­tain­able com­mu­nity en­ter­prise.

WSP as­so­ciate di­rec­tor Cassie Foun­tain, who also worked on the pro­ject, added: “This was a won­der­ful pro­ject to work on and it was great to be in­volved and cel­e­brate the bid’s suc­cess with the team.

“Not only does it give fi­nan­cial sup­port to an im­por­tant and his­tor­i­cal fa­cil­ity, it also helps se­cure the fu­ture of Bram­ley Baths as a hub for health and well­be­ing in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

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