Author: Jamie Summerfield

It has to be a yes – Mick Jones from

Mick Jones runs the excellent website for the village. Here’s why Mick thinks the Heritage Lottery Fund decision for Stirchley Baths – due imminently – has to be a yes…

“Stirchley Baths is a beautiful building which has shamed Stirchley for over 20 years through neglect. Regeneration, however, means a focal point so necessary for the wellbeing of a village, somewhere to go with children, adults and the vulnerable.

Stirchley website

I hope there will be dances, not necessarily discos but the sort of dances that families can attend, barn dancing where one can go without a partner. There will be rooms for discussion groups, clubs and meetings.

Throughout the country there are beautiful village halls that are economical to hire, meaning the community can put on a play, a dance or a party, for the community.

We in Stirchley need this facility in what is, after all, a heritage building, married to the library and next to a small park. Could anyone ask for a better location?”

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 – Emma Larkinson from Place Prospectors

Emma Larkinson from Place Prospectors explains why she thinks the Heritage Lottery Fund decision on Stirchley Baths – due very soon – has to be a ‘yes’…

Emma Larkinson

“Stirchley Baths was once at the hub of a vibrant junction at Bournville Lane bringing together learning, leisure and commerce. Over the years Stirchley has lost many of its local resources – the post office, co-operative education centre, the Friends Meeting House, the great mixed use road that was Hazelwell Lane – and it lost its name from the station ocean named Stirchley Street.

At a time of such financial pressures on public and private investment this is a huge opportunity for the community to bring back into use this beautiful building. Stirchley’s active networks of creative minds, committed community leaders and traders could make this building into a social focus once again. But we need a yes to start the ball rolling!”

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

Decision due on Stirchley Baths. Tell us why it has to be ‘yes’!

Sink Or Swim
People were in no doubt that the Stirchley Baths HLF bid should swim, not sink, at a wonderful summer event

A decision on the Stirchley Baths Heritage Lottery fund bid is expected very soon. The West Midlands committee of the HLF met earlier this week to consider the bid to transform Stirchley Baths into a thriving community hub for local people and their decision is imminent.

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in the project and supported the HLF bid in whatever way. Now it’s crunch time – and the Stirchley Baths project has to swim!

Please tell us why the HLF decision *has* to be a ‘yes’ by:

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

The whole Stirchley community got behind the bid, creating a show of hands around the baths in April and culminating in a fantastic ‘Sink or Swim’ event in June where local people weighed in their support for a ‘yes’.

‘Sink Or Swim’ at Stirchley Baths

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Stirchley Baths’ final-stage bid for Lottery funding will be submitted on 17th June 2013. It’s a pivotal moment in the history of the project and of the building itself.

This moment was marked with a fantastic participatory arts event at the Baths on Saturday called ‘Sink Or Swim’, organised by Place Prospectors.

Local people came along to weigh in their support for the project (literally!) and transformed the word ‘Sink’ in balloons into ‘Swim’. Dozens and dozens of balloons were weighed down with a ‘thumbs up’ ceramic weight. Visitors to the event chose a balloon…

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and had their ceramic hand weighed in.

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A record of the weight was made in a special ledger, which they signed, and their balloon was added to the ‘Swim’ board.

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Slowly, over the event, the word ‘Sink’ became ‘Swim’ – genius! – before all of the balloons were popped at the end!

Sink Or Swim

The wonderful Stirchley Shakers cheerleaders added a celebratory feeling to the day…

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and well over 200 people visited the event, many sitting on the old bowling green behind Stirchley Baths to have some food.

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At the end of the event, the water area even became an impromptu paddling pool!

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It was a really wonderful day! Huge thanks to Place Prospectors for creating such a fantastic way for local people to show their support for the Heritage Lottery Fund bid, and especially to everyone who came along on the day.

The HLF bid will be submitted on 17th June, with a decision expected in September…

To see lots more photos from the day click below

‘Sink or Swim’ at Stirchley Baths on 8th June – come and weigh in your support!

Please come along to Stirchley Baths on Saturday 8th June, 11am to 1pm, to ‘weigh in’ your support for the Baths as your community building.

Jayne Murray Stirchley Baths
Jayne Murray

The ‘balloontastic’ community art event – called ‘Sink or Swim’ – is being held on the old bowling green behind Stirchley Baths and ties in with the submission of the final and full bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. It’s called ‘Sink or Swim’ to reflect this pivotal moment in the project’s history and is a Place Prospectors event. You can hear Emma and Jayne on their involvement in the Stirchley Baths project HERE

You can come along to the bowling green between 11am and 1pm to ‘weigh in your interest’ in the Baths as your community building. You’ll be helping to turn ‘sink’ into ‘swim’ using balloons, and will get to take away a custom-made weight for keeps as a memento of the day.

Stirchley Shakers, a newly-formed cheerleading group, will be there, and there will also be balloon modelling and refreshments available.

We’ll get a decision on the Heritage Lottery Fund bid in September. There’s more on what happens when the bid is submitted HERE