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’…
“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:
It was great to meet Emma Larkinson and Jayne Murray from Place Prospectors to hear all about a piece of artwork they’ve been commissioned to produce as part of the project to bring Stirchley Baths back into use as a community hub.
The first will be a piece of participatory art that will be started in June when the funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is submitted. It will be called (somewhat fittingly at this critical stage in the project) ‘Sink or Swim’ and will require lots of community participation, so we’ll keep you updated on the details for this so you can get involved.
The second piece of artwork will be housed inside the community hub and Emma and Jayne have a number of ideas that they’re working up. They talk about them in detail in the interview but some ideas include:
Signs made of glitterboard (a material that moves and ripples gently, giving an appearance of water) to direct people from the rear of the Baths to the entrance at the front
There is space in the entrance lobby for a welcome mat. In fact, an indentation in the floor shows clearly where the original would have been. Emma and Jayne are thinking of making a new welcome mat
Remember the ceremonial key that was used to open the Baths in 1911? A new one could be made to mark the re-opening of the building as a community hub
Emma and Jayne are looking to utilise the bore hole in the Baths. When it opened, the original plan was to well for water but, unfortunately, a source was never found