Campaign launched to save 134-year-old baths amid private development fearsPosted on: 26 Jan 2023
A 134-year-old former public paths in Hotwells faces an uncertain future – but a community association are trying to change that.
Jacob Wells Baths is a Grade II listed former public baths located – as you might imagine – on Jacob’s Wells Road in Hotwells. Originally built in 1889, the baths lasted 80 years before being closed in the 1970s, and converted into a community dance centre in the 1980s.
Since 2016, the building has been unused and unoccupied, with community-focused fitness charity Fusion Lifestyle taking over the lease in 2018 – much to the joy of residents.
Recently, however, the charity has withdrew from its plans to restore Jacob Wells Baths to a community pool & leisure centre due to increased costs and struggling market after lockdown. With fears for the wellbeing of the building – as well as concern that the building could be sold off to less-than-scrupulous companies – a new community campaign has launched to save the building.
Led by Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association, the campaign has a currently running petition asking the council to working with the association, as well as other local partners like Trinity, to restore the baths to their original purpose. Additionally, the campaign encourages residents to write to their councillor on the subject, and follow them on media channels to aid organising.
Good Morning All. We’re thinking hard about community spaces at the moment. Can you help us save Jacobs Wells Baths for community use?#community #bristol #hotwells @BBCA_Bristol @RedlandLibEvent @TRESAcic @GeorgeFergusonx @playingout https://t.co/guBskIMMF4— Hotwells Cliftonwood (@hccabristol) January 26, 2023
“The neighbourhoods of Hotwells and Cliftonwood which surround the Jacobs Wells Baths have long been without a dedicated community space of any kind and this has consequences for everyone living in our communities.”, the website reads.
“Jacobs Wells Baths is a landmark building and is perfectly situated as a community space. Bristol City Council owns the building on behalf of the people of this city. We believe it would be a better long term investment in the local economy to reimagine Jacobs Wells Baths as a community hub than sell it off now to private developers.”
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Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.