Birmingham & Black Country

Moseley Road Swimming Baths fundraisers near lifeguard target

Annette Badland
Image caption Actor Annette Badland called the baths a "wonderful treasure"

A group hoping to take over a 110-year-old swimming pool has raised more than £10,000 towards training lifeguards.

Moseley Road Swimming Baths was to close in the summer but was given a reprieve by Birmingham City Council so supporters could plan its future.

Friends of Moseley Road Baths has set an initial £13,552 target as it creates a team to run the baths from April.

The group's Kat Pearson said there was a "huge amount of community support" for the project.

The building has closed twice since 2004 for urgent repairs and the larger Gala pool at the site remains out of use.

The city council has said the building has serious structural issues and the "exorbitant" costs of repair are out of the authority's reach.

Image caption Moseley Road Baths was put on a watch list by the World Monuments Fund

However, the action group said the council and a coalition of other groups were supportive of its plans to keep the "much-loved and well-used" baths running.

It has set up the Moseley Road Baths Community Interest Company to run the baths which are in a Grade II* listed building.

'Wonderful treasure'

The group believes it can "break even" within three years but needs to raise £75,000 in its first year to pay for essentials, such as staff, heating and lighting.

Its initial crowdfunding target aims to fund to train eight lifeguards as part of its team to take over next year.

The campaign has been backed by actor Annette Badland who recalls watching her father dive from the top board, and learning to swim at the baths.

The EastEnders and Doctor Who star called the baths "a wonderful treasure".

"It's very important today that we have these buildings still in our lives," she said.

Image copyright Attilio Fiumarella
Image caption In 2014 more than 100 swimmers posed as a "terracotta army" for an arts project at the pool

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