Friends of Jacobs Wells Baths
Steering Group Meeting
Jacobs Wells Baths
Thursday 11 May 2017
Present: Sally Silverman, Vivienne Hunt, Judy Goldsmith, Heather Watts, Sidika Petterson, Joel Ashley, Francis Harvey, Pat Chapple, Helen Lambert, Graham Egarr, Jerome Thomas, Helen Bone.
Apologies: Stephen Beggs, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Derek and Sylvie Newcombe.
- Jerome T reminded us about the Terms of Reference for the group.
- Minutes of the last Meeting (that are on the Hub website) were accepted as accurate.
Update – ArtspaceLifeSpace:
- ASLS now have a lease until September 2018. From December 2017 it can be terminated with one month’s notice.
- There is a potential booking for three months (September – December 2017). This would be a site specific show.
- Kathryn Chiswell Jones’(Kat) role as Company Manager is less “hands-on” than Dina’s role.
- Joel Ashley is the key person to contact about both events and maintenance. Joel Ashley (Duty Manager) contact telephone number – 07745 193622.
- Joel is getting a wide range of enquiries about using the space.
- Joel stressed that we can informally use the Main Studio when it is not in use.
- Singing starts in the building on Thursday 25th May 2017.
- Joel will show Sally S the shared Google calendar.
- Sidika P asked about promotion of the lettable space. Clare does all the promotion.
- People are becoming aware that the building is available to use.
- Lucy-Ann is the artist in residence in the South Studio.
- The end of year event may restrict use of the Hub Space.
- Pat C asked if all incomers to the space know the background of the building.
- Kathryn’s background is business orientated / architectural.
- Judy emphasised how positive Joel’s report was.
Helen’s feedback on the Technical Workshop:
- There are probably 2 or 3 serious bidders.
- We need to work through how we fine-tune the Community Asset transfer (CAT) process.
- The Hub Space was full of interested parties; bidders and technical experts.
- The invitation was that they could ask about the CAT process.
- Helen explained that the council are under a lot of pressure given the cuts to funding.
- John Bos is the key council staff member.
- It appears that the council are totally behind the CAT process.
- Pete Insole (council Heritage Officer) has said that “this is one of our most important projects”.
- Is the building on the “at risk” register? – No – it needs a building’s conditions survey first. We could push for this if we think being on the list is beneficial.
- A professional (Richard) is costing the external work that needs doing on the building. ¾ million pounds mentioned.
- We need to make sure that we are at the heart of the decision making.
- Once bidders are on board the process can be time-consuming.
- The deadline for expressions of interest is 03 July 2017.
- People at the technical meeting included: Paula O’Rourke, Stephen Beggs, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Trinity (Old Market), Norman Routledge, Make, Spike Island, ArtspaceLifespace, Fusion Lifestyle (London), Paul Hassan (Locality)…………
- There was no representation from the Dance Alliance.
- Sean Redmond (PH3design) gave his apologies.
- There was a lot of expertise in the room.
- Partnerships may evolve.
- Helen has given potential bidders one-to-one support.
- We need to capture feedback from any potential bidders who drop out.
- There was evidence of an element of collaboration on the day.
The way forward:
- We could invite potential bidders to meet with us to get comments and input on their initial proposals.
- We do need some clarity over the process that follows the published deadline (3/7/2017). Helen and Jerome to establish this in a meeting with John Bos.
- Pat C asked if we have advertised nationally. – No – but we have a national player.
- Pat made reference to the baths in both Manchester and Liverpool.
- Working as a consortium is not always easy.
- We briefly mentioned what the council plan would be if a bidder was not found.
- Jerome T emphasised that we need to work out the collaborative process that is necessary in conjunction with John Bos and the Council.
- Jerome explained the entrepreneurial approach used to purchase Kings Weston House.
- A Building’s Preservation Trust can be formed to save listed buildings.
- A Newcastle based example was given where the council borrowed money at 1% interest and re-lent the building to Fusion Lifestyle at a higher interest rate.
- This is an example of an organisation with experience, vision and good community engagement.
- Helen L stressed the need to deal with the technical demands and to populate the building.
- Jerome T suggested a timescale: formal bids end of September, panel beginning of November 2017. But we need some clarity about this.
- It is possible that two good bids could be asked to work together.
- A license to occupy may be given whilst the building is made water-tight.
- It was suggested that Helen Bone, Jerome Thomas and Judy Goldsmith meet to talk including with John Bos as appropriate.
- Helen L stressed that collaborative input is valuable.
- Sally S reminded us to look again at the Feasibility Study / Consultation document.
- What were the broad themes?
- Where is council’s view?
- Jerome suggested a meeting with John Bos to get a view on this.
- What is Mayor Rees’s view?
- If the council retains the freehold they retain control, although the lease holder would have a full repairing lease.
- Jerome T suggested we have a legal perspective. Helen Bone has some contacts.
- Sally S has a contact at Underfall Yard (Sarah M***).
- Judy has a contact at Bristol South Baths (Sarah Wex).
- Sidika P suggested that a more active interest should be encouraged.
- Sally S recognised the innovative process.
- Helen B championed the council and communities – that this shows transparency.
- Vivienne gave some examples of how communities work together (IT tuition).
- Pat C emphasised that these are the sort of things this community wants and needs.
- Offer potential bidders an evening meeting with us (mid-June 2017 – 15th mentioned).
- Give them the option of sending us some feedback to share.
- Short introduction to the project that Ruth Myers and Lori Streich have put together.
- Working with local heritage schools.
- Funding from English Schools.
- Heritage Lottery Funding – hub needs to complete the application form as a constituted group.
- The project will involve schools and the community starting in September 2017.
- Example given on work at Ashton Gatehouse and “Meadows to Meaders” (Southmead).
- They have provided a brief summary with some aspects that can be used in the future.
- Helen L said that she could also contact Cathedral School as a parent.
- All schools were short of space.
- Pupils at St Georges Primary School live in the area.
- Helen B reminded us that it was important to recognise “Who is here?“ and “Who is not here?”.
- She suggested a member of the Arts Community
- Judy G suggested Leisure
- Any other suggestions to Helen Bone
- Sidika P keen to get details about our future events published through mailing list.
- Next Friends Meeting
Friends meeting planned for 29th June 2017 6.30-8pm (18.30-20.00) including discussion of desired and essential criteria in selection of Community Asset Transfer applicants.
Jacobs Wells Baths – Duty Manager: Joel Ashley 07745 193622
For more about the Baths see our info page.