Moseley Road Baths is a Grade II* listed swimming pool, still open for swimming, which opened in 1907 and has been at the heart of the Balsall Heath community ever since. It is the only Grade II* listed swimming pool which is still open to the public and contains many features which are now unique both nationally and internationally. It is on World Monuments Fund’s Watch List and has been a priority building at risk for the Edwardian Society, Victorian Society and Historic England.
The pool has been under threat of closure for around 20 years, and most recently the pool was due to close in June 2017. As a result of this, local people got together to form an Action Group and call for a different solution – for the pool to be taken over as a community run facility – and, with the help of heritage organisations, persuaded Birmingham City Council to keep the pool open a little longer while proposals were put in place.
Moseley Road Baths Charitable Incorporated Organisation was granted charitable status in December 2017 and took over the day to day running of swimming in April 2018 on a business-like but not-for-profit basis. It aims to promote community participation in healthy recreation by the provision of facilities for swimming and other aquatic sports and to ensure that the local people of Balsall Heath, a deprived area of Birmingham, can continue to enjoy fitness and wellbeing activity and swimming lessons that would otherwise be unavailable to them for reasons of cost and travel.
Trustees are members of the local community and regular swimmers at the pool and many have been involved for some years in the campaign to try to save this Grade II* historic baths. Current Trustees are:
- Karen Leach
- Mark Gunton
- Viv Harrison
- Joe Holyoak
- Kat Pearson
- Cath Gilliver
- Ruth Miller
We have a business plan which demonstrates that, with a part staff and part volunteer model, the pool should be able to sustain itself after three years and we are applying for funding to meet a number of immediate costs which we are seeking to cover with grant money.
We are also fortunate to be working with a ‘coalition’ of organisations – the National Trust, Historic England, World Monuments Fund, Birmingham City Council and the Friends of Moseley Road Baths alongside ourselves – who are working together to secure a future for the building as a whole. As an initial step the Gala Pool Roof is being renovated with a view to making this space useable, and the heritage organisations are working with the City Council to develop a maintenance plan for the building that will halt deterioration and keep the pool operational.