Attractions industry news

13 Nov 2017

Heritage coalition formed to restore historic baths for today’s swimmers

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help train swimming teachers and volunteer lifeguards at Britain’s oldest operational swimming baths.

The Moseley Road Baths are one of Birmingham's most important heritage buildings and the only operational Grade II* baths that predate 1914 still in use, however, Birmingham City Council will stop running the pool in April 2018.

The Moseley Road Baths Coalition has now been formed to work with Birmingham City Council to find a way to keep the pool open, either through transferring operations to a community interest company or via another operator.

The National Trust has announced it has joined the coalition, which also includes Friends of Moseley Road Baths, Moseley Road Baths Action Group, Historic England and the World Monuments Fund.

“The building needs significant investment, given the scale of the complex backlog of conservation and building works required,” the National Trust said in a statement.

A crowdfunding campaign by the coalition aims to support the training of swim trainers and volunteer lifeguards so that children can continue swimming at the baths once the council’s contract ends. The campaign is £1,400 short of its £13,000 target, with eight days remaining.

As well as being the oldest of five Grade II* listed baths in the country, the baths contain some unique fixtures and fittings, including a set of 46 private washing rooms with slipper baths, original oak ticket offices and attendants' kiosks, and a three-sided spectator gallery with unique balconettes in the gala or first-class pool.

So significant are the baths that the World Monuments Fund added the building to its 2016 World Monuments Watch List of 50 important buildings and monuments across the world.

To find out more, visit the Friends of Moseley Road Baths website.

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