Bramley Baths in Leeds has received a welcome boost thanks to a £250k grant secured with the help of consultants WSP for crucial modernisation work on the Edwardian Grade II listed building.
Originally opened in 1904 as a place for local people to enjoy washing facilities, Bramley Baths was reinvented in 2013 as a community-led social enterprise, with the facilities transferred from Leeds City Council to a new management team.
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 creating an energy hub by 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 £150 million endowment from Big Lottery Fund. Its objectives are to support, develop and grow community businesses across England.
Power to Change provided just over £295,000 from its Community Business Fund. Sport England has offered a further £75,000, with the rest coming from a loan and The Baths’ financial reserves.
Bramley Baths CEO 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 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 well-being in the local community.”
It is hoped the eco-hub will reduce energy costs by up to 40%, reducing its environmental impact and allowing the social enterprise to re-invest the savings into other projects.
The funding will also provide:
• A new pool plant, with new filtration system, pipework and valves. The new pool filtration system will mean less chlorine use. The pool plant area will also have a new roof.
• Three new boilers and two new hot water tanks.
• New air handling units on poolside and new air conditioning in the gym and studio.
• Eco blinds for the studio.
• A complete clean and maintenance of the pool, including re-grouting of tiles.