Author: Nick Booth

Stirchley Baths Activity Plan and historic Interpretation proposal

Here are two documents that formed part of the successful application to the heritage Lottery Fund.

The first is the Interpretation Proposal,  which shows plans for how the history that relates to the building might be shared when the work is done.   It starts by telling us the aim is to:

“… take a light-touch approach to in situ interpretation materials. Stirchley Baths has many stories to tell and to a considerable extent the building will speak for itself. Our aim is to provide interpretation materials that will enhance or further illustrate these stories, or will lead users of the building to stories that they may not have been aware of. We will aim to provoke interest and enquiry, and also point the way to where the curious may discover more. We will do this mainly through the use of photographs and enlarged facsimiles of original documents, with little or no explanatory text.”

Click here or on the image below to download it.

Stirchley Baths Interpretation Proposal - click on the image to download the whole document
Stirchley Baths Interpretation Proposal – click on the image to download the whole document

The other is the Activity plan which sets out the sorts of things that will happen – in relationship to heritage – at the hub and in the wider community.  Click here or on the image to download.

Stirchley Baths activity plan – click on the image to download the whole document

Thanks for masses of hard work from the local heritage buildings charity Birmingham Conservation Trust for producing these.


Stirchley Community Hub – Programming Sub Group Meeting October 1st 2013


A group of Stirchley residnets smiling and giving the thumbs up for the new funding
Stirchley Community Hub – Programming Sub Group Meeting October 1st 2013

There were plenty of happy faces at the Stirchley Community Hub – Programming Sub Group meeting last night.  They’d all heard the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to grant the final £1.2 million needed for the work to go ahead.

The thumbs up in the picture if not just the photographer being corny – echoes part of the campaign to show the HLF how strong community support was for the plan to find a fresh use for the derelict building.

a gold hand moulded in the shape of a thumbs up
Thumbs up for Stirchley Baths

Here are some rough notes from the conversation at the meeting:

The meeting started with the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to grant the final £1.2 million to allow the project to go ahead. As one person put it… “that’s the easy bit done”!


  • £1.178 million from Heritage Lottery Fund just over £1 million of that is capital contribution towards the building, £133k is for work on the development work around  heritage of the baths and the neighbourhood.- heritage development officer and activity plan for 3 yrs
  • £3 million capital receipt (Tesco )
  • £9k BCC corporate resources
  • £15k BCC working for the future – for the self-check in kiosk for advice and information service

Timescale or what next…

Officers have to write a cabinet report and a final business case (already at the draft stage) for Birmingham City Council Cabinet to give  the appropriate approvals required for the bid and approval to accept the money.  The aim is to get that to either  the November or December   cabinet meeting – because there’s a lot to be considered in the next two months across the whole council.

The Build: Once  Cabinet has given sign off the formal order can be placed with Acivico and Mansell Balfour Beatty as the contractor (this has already been agreed as part of  BCC’s Construction west mids contractor agreement)

All Committee Reports have a ‘call in’ period of two weeks after approval.

Expecting then to start on site at the beginning of January – all going well it’s a 12 month build. Aim is to finish Dec 2014 – opening January 2015.

Heritage Lottery revenue of £133k:   To develop – over three years – the Heritage aspects of the project.

  • Part time heritage officer – over 3 years.  Likely to be a commission. (advertised after cabinet has approved).
  • Development fund money for heritage related activities.
  • A small amount for an evaluation of the heritage work.
Existing Community centreBookings there will move over to the new building when it opens.Other thoughts expressed at the meeting:

The Lifford Business Association are aiming to create a Business Improvement District for Stirchley, Cotteridge, Bournville and Kings Norton with the team working to support local business based out of the Stirchley Baths  –  using the hub for the town centre manager and their support.  They want to help regenerate Stirchley and the other centres.  there will be an outline bid fo the BIDF soon and they’ll be looking for feedback and support for what is known as the Pershore Rd Corridor.

The library and adult education service can also talk to Lifford Business Association about learning, information and skills.Stirchley Stores – will need to move in about 9 months.  The baths would be one option..There is some digital equipment to help capture and record the development of the building and the development of the community activity in and around the building.

Discussion broadened to anticipating issues and making the most of the time before the building opened…

  • How will we use the building – what does it look like inside – how can we involve more people.
  • Visualising a life in the month of this centre to help clarify what will be needed in detail.
  • How daunting or otherwise can community asset transfer be?
  • Is this an asset protected for public good? – yes by the agreement with the heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Possibilities of coordinating voluntary work with other organsiations – even seeking additional money.
  • Look at case studies of elsewhere – if you started again what would you do differently?
  •  Are the building plans on the website set in stone?   Yes – but all the rooms are intended to be as multi-purpose as possible.
  • Opening and closing times are already linked to the planning application.

– Is there other income for the running of the centre –  at the moment there is money that relates to running the current Stirchley Community centre.   The City Council and therefore the  District though is expecting budget cuts of 25%


A Heritage Map of Stirchley and the rest of Birmingham

a black and white image of a double decker tram pasing a pub on the Pershore Road in Birmingham
A Tram passes the British oak (now Grade II Listed) on the Pershore Rd. Image courtesy of – please click through to see many more fine images of Brum

We first picked this up over on a new Brandwood blog, but it’s interesting for Stirchley.

Heritage Map of Stirchley
Heritage Map of Stirchley

It lists

  • Stirchley Baths
  • 15 and 17 Hazelwell Street (Grade II)
  • The British Oak – including it’s Garden Loggia
  • Stirchley Library

Click through to here to have a closer look and and explore.  The heritage map of the city was created last year by  Mappa Mercia:

Finally, after a couple of years surveying listed buildings, parks and gardens an public artworks, amassing along the way a vast collection of photos; we’ve managed to get a prototype map showing everything of “heritage”  or “cultural” status in the West Midlands.

Mappa Mercia is a mapping project run by volunteers – who’ve created a free to use map of all of Birmingham and much of the world.

Peter Morgan of the Heritage Lottery Fund explains the process for getting the bid in.

Stirchley baths meeting re heritage lottery fund
Half the meeting

Yesterday there was a “stage” meeting about the final and full bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (to be submitted in June 2013).  A good few people there who’ve been involved in some area of work creating or supporting the bid.  As much as anything it was a chance for the Heritage Lottery Team and the bid team to catch up on progress.  The picture is of one half of the meeting.

Afterwards I spent a few minutes with Peter Morgan from the West Midlands team of the Heritage Lottery Fund.  He explained how these meetings help – what will happen next and what happens to the bid after the June deadline for submitting.

  • The “stage” meeting help clarify that the bid writing and community engagement process is on track.  It helps everyone focus on creating the best quality bid.
  • Once submitted in June the bid will be assigned an officer who will read is and write a report
  • The report will be checked for quality within the system then submitted to the ctte for decision
  • The ctte read the report and are given a presentation by the officer.  They then decide based on this information and other bids in that month.  Ctte members are volunteers.