This update from Philip Thompson, Save Kentish Town Baths (and ward councillor)
??I’m glad to be able to bring you the latest information about Kentish Town Baths. It’s been well over a year now since we started campaigning to save the Baths in autumn 2005 and now finally the repair and renovation works which we fought so hard to secure are about to begin.??
??As you know, last October the Council committed to the full package of funds to restore the Baths and keep all three pools and a refurbished gym. This week the Council has begun consulting on the details of the restoration and I would like to urge everyone to take this opportunity to get involved and to have your say about their future.??
??There are a number of features of the consultation which you should note:??
??1. A public meeting will be held on Wednesday 7 February at 6.30pm in St. Patrick’s Primary School in Raglan Street. Here people can ask questions of Council officers, give their views and exchange ideas about the Baths.??
??2. Come on an Open Day. Councillor Flick Rea who is leading the consultation has arranged several opportunities for local people to go behind the scenes at the Baths and see the place from a different perspective. These will be held on 22 January and 5 February as well as 24 and 25 February. Please email Tim Davies, Head of Sport on firstname.lastname@example.org or ask at the Baths if you would like to come along to one. I’ve been on one of these tours and found it really fascinating – particularly the downstairs boilers that pump the pool water up from the River Fleet!??
??3. Respond to the consultation. Follow this link for the Council’s press release and read the “consultation document”:http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/leisure/news/2007/january/view-sought-on-historic-baths-re-vamp.en??
??This is a very exciting project. It represents a commitment to low-cost swimming and fitness in the same building that has served the community for over a hundred years. The finished product should be a tribute to the Victorians’ original purpose of quality municipal leisure.??
??Sadly, because the Baths have been allowed to fall into such disrepair, the renovation is going to have to be extensive and the Baths will have to close for about three years. Provisions are being made for classes and other users to be accommodated at other centres in the meantime but if you want to find out the details about a particular class, please contact the Centre or Gary Dark at Swiss Cottage Sports Centre. If you have a special problem, please get in touch with Tim Davies.??
??I’ve been assured that the Council will continue to keep people regularly informed by displays/leaflets and hopefully site visits to maintain the vital community ownership of the project.??
??Finally, before the Baths close for renovation on Sunday 25 February there will be free swimming for all in the preceding week and a “farewell” party for local people on Sunday 25 February itself – keep an eye out for details!??
??All the best,??
Save Kentish Town Baths??