Author: Jamie Summerfield

It’s a big yes for Stirchley Baths!

Hands Up

Fantastic news – the HLF have given the thumbs up to the transformation of Stirchley Baths into a community hub.

Work on bringing the Grade II listed building back into use for the community can now get under way. You can have a look at the plans by clicking HERE.

Birmingham City Council issued this press release this morning:

A grant to refurbish a historic building which will rejuvenate the area creating cultural, sporting and recreational opportunities for local people has been received by Birmingham City Council.

The grant of almost £1.2m has been given by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to transform the Grade II listed former Stirchley Baths building into a new Urban Village Hall.

The Urban Village Hall will include activities and community functions. The new-look building will also incorporate a gallery area, meeting rooms, a cafe and classrooms.

Selly Oak District Chair, Cllr Karen McCarthy, said: “I know that Stirchley’s community organisations will be delighted with this news The bid had strong support from local people and groups, who will be celebrating now that we are one step closer to a multi-purpose venue suitable for all people of all generations.”

The transformed building will become a popular community hub. From a derelict building comes a visual highlight and a great space which will make a huge contribution to the regeneration of the area and to local people. ”

The project will preserve key historic features, including the original kiosk within the entrance area, the iconic chimney flue, balconies and tiling. There are also plans to reinstate some key lost features, for example the distinctive cupola and clock that faced onto Hazelwell Street.

Reyahn King, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the West Midlands, said: “A prominent local landmark that has fallen into disrepair will be transformed by this project creating a multipurpose centre to serve the local community’s present and future needs while preserving original features of the historic baths.”

Peter Walker, Chair of Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum, said: “It now seems very real that the idea of a building in the heart of Stirchley that will promote community spirit and support cultural and creative activities is becoming a possibility.

“This project has always been a collaborative affair where local people have always had a voice and have always been listened to. I’m pleased to be part of something that will benefit local people and keeps a beautiful local building in use.”

The news has already been reported by the excellent Bournville Village website.

Let us know what the ‘yes’ from HLF – and the building being brought back into use for the community – means to you by:

  • Leaving a comment here on the website
  • Sending an email to stirchleybaths@gmail.com
  • Tweeting us a message @stirchleybaths
  • Leaving a comment on our Facebook page

It has to be a yes – Shona McQuillan

Stirchley resident Shona McQuillan on why the HLF decision for Stirchley Baths – due very soon – just has to be a yes…

Hands Up

“I love the regeneration idea for Stirchley Baths. Making use of a beautiful, richly historic existing building rather than plundering cash into carbon-copy new-build is vital – and is something that should be happening more and more.

The plans won’t wipe out what’s there already, rather they will make the most of Stirchley’s unique traits and personality.

The community hub can factor in the whole spectrum of potential trade and cultural activity. Its community spaces will bring members of the community together when they might not normally be encouraged to do so.

The regeneration of Stirchley Baths could have a pivotal role in the rebirth of the area and support of such diverse activity. The time to sow the seeds of the renaissance is now.”

The decision from HLF is expected very soon. Please tell us why it *has* to be a ‘yes’ by:

  • Leaving a comment here on the website
  • Sending an email to stirchleybaths@gmail.com
  • Tweeting us a message @stirchleybaths
  • Leaving a comment on our Facebook page

 

It has to be a yes – Peter Walker from Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum

Peter Walker is the chairman of Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum, a community group run by and for local people. Membership is open to anyone who lives or runs a business in Stirchley. The Forum provides an opportunity for local people to discuss and influence the issues that affect the village.

Here, Peter explains why the Heritage Lottery decision on transforming Stirchley Baths into a community centre just has to be a yes…

Peter Walker

I can’t wait for the result of our funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. It has to happen, doesn’t it?

Stirchley Baths has been closed for over 22 years now and I fear that it will be lost forever should this project not go ahead.

There are so many community groups in Stirchley, all waiting to move into the community centre that Stirchley residents deserve for all that they do for the village.

Somewhere modern, clean and safe where young mums and dads can take their children and meet others, where teenagers can meet their friends and pursue their needs in a safe environment and where the older residents can meet with their friends.

Stirchley is a strong community – let’s keep it that way.

There’s lots more information on Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum HERE.

The decision from HLF is expected very soon. Please tell us why it *has* to be a ‘yes’ by:

It has to be a yes – Rob Gilbert from Stirchley Stores

Rob Gilbert is the committee chair of Stirchley Stores, the co-operative on Pershore Road that supplies ethical, affordable and local food. Stirchley Stores wants to move into the Stirchley Baths community hub. Here, Rob explains why the Heritage Lottery decision due very soon has to be a ‘yes’ for Stirchley…

Stirchley Stores

“The Stirchley Baths community hub is the ideal place for Stirchley Stores. Sustainability and community are at the heart of Stirchley Stores, helping people contribute to the rejuvenation of their High Street. These values are what the community hub project is all about too.

We need a new premises because Loaf – our neighbour in Pershore Road – is looking to expand. We currently use the premises rent-free in exchange for selling their bread and the consensus among our members is that Stirchley Baths is the ideal location for us. It’s a good-value plan and will help us to be even more connected to the local community.

We’re growing too. We’re mostly run by volunteers, although we pay a volunteer co-ordinator and we’re about to take on our first paid worker in the shop too. Moving into the community hub will help us to take Stirchley Stores to the next stage.

The Stirchley Baths community hub will be a real focal point for the whole Stirchley community, enabling more people to connect and get things done for the good of the village. There will be a cafe in there, a cinema, meeting rooms, events – it will be a huge boost for the whole village and we’re really keen to be a part of it.”

The decision from HLF is expected very soon. Please tell us why it *has* to be a ‘yes’ by: