Community led Bramley Baths is to receive a potentially lifesaving financial boost to help them through the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bramley Baths is one of 445 organisations sharing £103 million from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund to help support venues hit by the impact of Covid-19.
The historic Broad Lane leisure facility has received £168,700 to diversify its services and re-train staff to deliver outreach health services across the community.
The cash will also help review the not-for-profit company’s business plan, install better CCTV, cover utility costs and further develop the site as a sustainable eco-hub by carrying out an eco-survey of the Grade II Listed building.
The Baths will also further develop the organisation’s heritage offering, including an exhibition exploring its 116-year history.
This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.
Bramley Baths Chief executive David Wilford said:
“This funding is brilliant news for us. It will help us adapt our operations AND become a more outward-looking organisation, delivering health and fitness services where they’re needed across the community.
“The money will hopefully help us to continue to welcome visitors into 2021. These are difficult times for leisure facilities like ours, operating at reduced capacity and with increased cleaning costs. This is a welcome boost for us and it will help us meet needs of the wider Bramley community.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post Covid.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:
“The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”
Bramley Baths is the only remaining Edwardian bath house in Leeds and is Grade II listed. It first opened as a pool and public bath house in 1904, enabling local residents to wash, swim and use the Russian Steam Baths.
The facility has been independent and community led since a group of local residents took over the running of the building from Leeds City Council in 2013, following a local campaign.