NEWS: Friends of Bramley Baths invited to take on the management of Bramley Baths.

Leeds City Council’s Executive Board has announced news that the Friends of Bramley Baths’ bid to take over Bramley Baths as a community enterprise has been successful. The Executive Board has today, May 16th, approved a recommendation by the Director of City Development to move forward with the Community Asset Transfer to the Friends, who have campaigned to keep the Edwardian baths open. Leeds City Council has approved the recommendation to offer a 25 year lease at a peppercorn rent to the friends.

The Friends of Bramley Baths, a group of volunteers living and working in the LS13 area are proposing a community-led initiative that will see Bramley Baths’ future put into the hands of local people. Their proposal is to create a Community Benefit Society, operating the baths in the interests of the local community and creating a service that will provide a community hub, swimming, a gym and other fitness and leisure activities that are affordable and accessible to more people.

Friends of Bramley Baths was set up in May 2011 in response to the reduction in opening hours and a full business plan submitted to Leeds City Council in January 2012, following extensive research and community consultation by Friends of Bramley Baths. A timetable for taking on the Baths will be developed with Leeds City Council. The campaign has been supported by many local people, local councillors & West Leeds MP Rachel Reeves.

John Battle, Chair of the Friends of Bramley Baths steering group said: “We’re delighted to receive this news, it’s a great result for Bramley and the result of a huge investment of time and skill by local people. We’ve had a great deal of support for the campaign, now we need to get more people into Bramley Baths so that we can ensure it stays open for many years to come.”

Cathryn Thom a member of the Friends of Bramley Baths steering group said: Bramley Baths is a beautiful building and important community centre that people in Bramley are very proud of. We want to create a friendly, affordable experience for people in the area, and we want to make sure more people across Leeds and beyond know about this incredible gem.”

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said: “I am delighted that Leeds City Council have made this decision. I hope that everyone in Bramley will support the efforts of the Friends of Bramley Baths and make that extra effort to visit and support the Baths when the Friends take over. This type of community venture needs the backing of the local community to succeed and I am sure that every person in Bramley will give their support to the group – without whom, the Baths would have had to close.”