Garden for all makes a splash at west Leeds pool site

Kevin Hall cuts the tape for the opening of Bramley Baths community garden. Picture by Simon Hulme
Kevin Hall cuts the tape for the opening of Bramley Baths community garden. Picture by Simon Hulme
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A community garden is the latest addition to a historic Leeds swimming baths that was saved by volunteers in west Leeds.

The Edwardian Bramley Baths building, which features a pool and gym, is run as a community concern after a year-long battle to save the historic facility from closure.

The Friends of Bramley Baths now run the 1904 Grade II listed building and swimming pool on a 25-year lease.

And this weekend has seen the opening of its new community garden complete with outdoor tap.

The scheme received £4,500 funding from Engage Mutual to fund the garden which also includes raised beds for growing fresh fruit and vegetables for the community and a special seating area.

Bramley resident Alison Brewster, who put in the bid for funding, was inspired by her keen interest in gardening.

She said she wanted to create a place for the community to enjoy.

She said: “When I heard about the funding from Engage made available exclusively for customers’ communities, I immediately thought about how it could help The Friends of Bramley Baths, a project I’m extremely passionate about.

“The funding has made a massive difference to us.

“We’ve been able to completely transform a piece of land into a community garden which is already being enjoyed by many members.”

Fran Graham, Bramley Baths project co-ordinator said: “We’ve already got so much living and growing in the space, and people are really enjoying it.

“There’s still a lot of exciting work to do, we’ve got three gardening lessons planned for children this summer and we’re planning to install some bird boxes next year.

“It’s been a fantastic project to be involved with and we couldn’t have achieved what we have without the funding.”

Anna Drabble, head of community at Engage Mutual, added: “Bramley Baths Community Garden was awarded funding last year as part of Engage With Your Community, the success of which inspired our Foundation.

“To be able to see the funding make such a difference to so many people is incredible.

“The volunteers at Bramley Baths have worked hard to create something beautiful, which the community of Bramley will enjoy for years to come.”

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