The future of the Grade II listed and much cherished Jacob's Wells Baths has been secured in a deal proposed between Bristol City Council and registered charity Fusion Lifestyle.
At Monday evening's Cabinet meeting, members approved officers' recommendations to undertake a Community Asset Transfer for the Baths and to grant a long-term lease to Fusion.
Fusion has ambitious repair and redevelopment plans for the property, with the intended restoration of public swimming at the site complimented by the creation of new health and well being facilities. This will include a community health and fitness facility and a range of flexible studio spaces, suitable for a variety of dance-related and group exercise activities. The redeveloped site will also incorporate a new community café with associated community meeting and activity space.
Fusion and the City Council will now work together with the aim of completing the lease by April 2018. On entering into the lease, Fusion will aim to undertake essential repairs whilst carrying out surveys and developing their designs for the major redevelopment works.
Tim Mills, Fusion's Director of Business Development said "We are absolutely delighted that the City Council has decided to support the community asset transfer of the Jacob's Wells Baths site to Fusion. We recognise that our restoration and redevelopment plans are ambitious and will be challenging to bring to fruition. It has been over 40 years since the public were able to swim at Jacob's Wells Baths, but we are really excited by the opportunity to breathe new life into a much cherished local building. We are determined to create a vibrant and sustainable facility inclusive and accessible to the local community.".
Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "I am delighted we've got a clear way ahead for Jacobs Wells Baths and can proceed to offer the lease to Fusion Lifestyle. I'd like to thank all bidders for their interest and the effort they put into what was a very competitive process.
"The plans I have seen for the building set out a strong community focused offer that I am sure will benefit the residents and those from further afield. Throughout this process we were keen to hear from organisations that put community first and it was Fusion's overall vision as well as a strong and financial viable business plan that impressed us most."