Monday 2 February 2015
As of this week, on Monday 2 February Newcastle City Council have make public that they are are marketing and open for offers for lease or to buy the Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths and Vine Street School and offers to lease and maintain City Hall. Newcastle City Council hope this marketing process through Sanderson Weatherall will elicit a wide range of offers which they will assess, including ours, but with no guarantee to accept ours.
Since we got the Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths listed as an Asset of Community Value in December 2013, we have been in ongoing dialogue with Newcastle City Council, and they are aware of our interest and plans for that part of the building. We have 6 weeks to register our interest (which we plan to do!) and 6 months to produce a business plan to present to them. Newcastle City Council are under no obligation to accept our plan, and of course it depends on what offers they receive for all or part of the building.
We are sad that a building that is so architecturally and historically significant, and which has played a part in the lives of so many people from Newcastle is up for sale. However we hope the Council’s marketing process will bring together offers that can sensitively combine to re-open this historic Grade 11 and Grade 11* listed building along with our plans to bring the Turkish Baths back into use as an affordable and accessible community leisure facility.
We have been using the £10,000 grant we received from the Social Investment Business for pre-feasibility planning and are currently writing a business plan with help from Jesmond Community Leisure (who successfully run Jesmond Swimming Pool as a community venture), to re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths along with the Sauna Suite. We will submit our proposal and plan to Newcastle City Council within the 6 month period.
To help us reflect prices, services and opening hours that the public want we have created short online survey. We had over 350 responses in the first three days, and an overwhgelming positive set of responses so we are confident that the demand and support is still there. Thank you to those who have completed it. There is still time to let us know your views here, it should only take 4 minutes.
What you can do to help
Please help circulate the questionnaire to anyone you know who may be interested and encourage people to follow us on our facebook and twitter pages (@NclTurkishBaths) or to sign up to this newsletter. We need to keep the huge interest that there is for re-opening the Turkish Baths and not loosing this important local facility and asset in the public eye and especially to the council, councillors and politicians.
We also encourage any organisation who is interested in making a proposal for part of the building and collaborating with us to get in touch with us via email.
We will continue to keep you informed about news and progress and if we need any further additional help.