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Victoria Baths Trust Open Meeting – Vision, Strategy and Restoration Phase 2

22 Mar 2015

Categories: Restoration

Twenty-eight Trust Members and Friends met in the Pineapple Room to hear about the next stage of the restoration of Victoria Baths and to contribute their ideas on how things should move forward.

Pam Schwarz, Chair of the Trust, welcomed people to the meeting which she said was being held at an exciting time in the development of Victoria Baths – the time when we are beginning the development of Restoration Phase 2.

Pam led Friends in considering updated versions of Our Vision for Victoria Baths and Our Strategy for the Restoration of Victoria Baths.  She explained that these were two documents which were essential to the Trust to help to explain to partner organisations – including potential funders – how we want to move forward.

Friends worked in groups, supported by Trustees, to comment on the contents of the vision and strategy.  The groups provided many good ideas about how the documents could be changed to explain our proposals better.

Pam has incorporated these changes into revised versions of the vision and strategy which will be presented to the Trustees for approval at their April meeting and reported to Trust Members and Friends at the next Open Meeting.

Friends also had the opportunity to tour the parts of the building which will be further restored during Restoration Phase 2.  Outline plans for the proposed Turkish Baths and Health Suite, taking up part of the ground floor and basement, and three or four apartments, using the former Committee Room and Superintendent’s flat on the first and second floor, were available.  Plans can be seen on the Friends’ notice board at the Baths.

Jane Bracewell, Trustee, and Gill Wright, Project Manager, led the groups around the building, explaining the initial proposals for the use of spaces.

Friends were enthusiastic about, and supportive of, the proposals.  They provided many helpful comments on how the plans might be improved.  Jane has collated the comments which will be used by the Trust in its further discussions with partners such as architects, surveyors and funders.

Jill Earnshaw, Vice Chair of the Trust, then described a Great Opportunity to Help Victoria Baths.  She mentioned that we had heard during the meeting about plans for this exciting new phase of restoration to bring the Turkish Baths back to their former glory and to create modern treatment rooms for massages, pedicures and the like.

Jill reminded Friends that we have engaged Compton to guide us through the fundraising. However, before that really gets under way, she pointed out that there are things to be done which cost money such as engaging architects and drawing up business plans.

The main fundraising will not go public for some time, but we have heard that some Friends (both those at the meeting and those not able to be there) are very generously offering to make donations at the present time. These would be greatly appreciated, because it would enable the Trust to pay in particular for these early items of expense, which could amount to around £50,000.

Jill announced that The Restoration Phase 2 Start-up Fund is now launched.  We already have over £10,000 in the fund, which is a great start. Further donations to the Fund are welcome

You can make a donation via a cheque made payable to Victoria Baths Trust, accompanied by the completed form at the donate link at the top of this page or at(http://www.victoriabaths.org.uk/support-us/donations/).  The cheque and the form should then be returned to the Project Office at the Baths.

Pam then drew the Trust Open Meeting to a close, thanking Friends for their enthusiasm about Restoration Phase 2.  She reminded them that the next Trust Open Meeting is on Monday 15 June in the evening.  Trustees will report on progress towards Phase 2.  She looked forward to seeing Trust Members and Friends there.