Friends of Jacobs Wells Baths Minutes 16 Feb 2017



Friends of Jacobs Wells Baths Working Group.   16 February 2017 . 19.00-21.00.  At member’s home

Present: Alessandro Marzotto Levy-  Chris Millman- Corinne Fitzpatrick- Derek & Sylvia Newcombe- Dina Ntziora- Francis Harvey- Graham Egarr-Heather W- James Crick- Jerome Thomas- Pat Chapple- Sally Silverman -Sarah Bancroft- Vivian Hunt-Sidika Petterson.

Apologies: Judy Goldsmith- Helen Bone- Vivian Latinwo-Olajide- Dennis Gornall- Stephen Beggs- Josh Ben-Tovi- Simon Birch – Jonas Lagner- Bob Walton- Estella Tinknell

Introductions:  People came with a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience.

Purpose of the Friends of J. Wells Baths –To give technical advice that will inform the process of the Community Asset transfer (CAT).  To ensure that a wide range of voices are heard.

Roles – Jerome prepared to chair the meetings.  Heather & Chris prepared to take minutes.

Updates – Jerome explained about the proposed Community Asset transfer (CAT).  He referred to the feasibility report from www.vivid

 Dina from www.artspacelifespace  explained that the six month license to occupy the building ended on 6/2/17.

They have renewed until March 6th .The building has failed two health and safety reports and so can not be open to the public.  Mains electricity is unsafe and some areas need to be sealed off due to asbestos being present. ArtspaceLifespace will review if they wish to extend their lease from March 6th until the end of the CAT time limit. Dina stressed that ArtspaceLifespace wish to keep the space alive and safe.   With the electrics some changes need to be made to the mains circuit board and some re-wiring completed.  Estimate- £3,000.

On the optimistic side Dina has reserved potential bookings up until September. There has been considerable interest in using the building since the article in B24/7.  The main hall / dance space is asbestos free. James noted it is common for asbestos surveys to have limitations. It is, therefore, unwise to assume areas not identified as asbestos containing are clear of concealed asbestos.

Funding: – Helen Bone applied to The Architectural Heritage Funding body and has been successful in obtaining £5,000 for a conditions survey. Excellent news !

Quartet Funding – www.artspacelifespace  have applied for quartet funding to help staff the building. Results expected at end of this month.  met with Lori Streich and Ruth Myers from Local Learning.  There are plans to get funding to support a historical / heritage / learning project.

Vivian Latinwo-Olajide has offered to help with research into suitable funding applications.

  • Feedback from Property Services:

Challenge for the council during its spending freeze. Need a dowry to help fix the condition of the building.

The council has a responsibility for the safety of the building which is Grade Two listed.  There are pros & Cons to getting Grade Two Star listing.   James & Corrine explained how listing can be free and time consuming or a £2,000 fixed fee. It could inhibit imaginative design.

Regarding the condition of the building – the reports have a lot of weight.

Avon Quay House was mentioned as another potential community space in the area.  Council is selling off some buildings stock. Jacobs Wells Community Hub supports the need for complimentary community spaces in an area devoid of Community Centres.  The buildings are very different.

  • Hopes and Fears of all present

Graham  asked if there was a danger of heritage and community being incompatible .

There is a need to double the usable space to ensure sustainability. The boiler room is triple height. We do have options. Jerome stressed that there must be clauses that stipulate a clear case for community. Alexandro stressed that the dance community are enthusiastic for an opportunity like this.

Pat & Sally asked suggested a community champion or opportunity to engage a patron. Alexandro mentioned the Linbury Trust that funded Impermanence Dance. Dina suggested Christine (UNESCO) and Pat , Tony Robinson.

Opportunity for a “Cheese and Wine” fund-raiser. Multiple users versus sole use of building.

Kings Weston House was given as an example of a large building that is used as a venue for corporate events and weddings whilst also hosting community events- see Contact ,Norman Routledge.

Trinity is another example that works well. Contact- Emma Harvey.

The unique sprung floor, the height of the building and the acoustics are true assets. We need to cast the net widely to ensure we reach all potential bidders.

It is a building of historic & national significance with underground springs. We still need pragmatism…

The council appears to be behind the community. Many local Traders support the project . Pride of Place – our contact is Simon Birch  at the Civic Society .Engage local students.

Time is needed to: Enable development and  fund-raising.

Next meeting is on Thursday 23 March 2017.

Venue: Stephen Beggs has offered use of his office building close to The Baths. Timing and venue to be confirmed.


We hope to see as many supporters of The Jacobs Wells Baths project at City Hall, Information Event

Feb 28th Tuesday. 6.30 p.m.