Group given 50-year lease to run Leeds baths

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Social enterprise Bramley Baths has received the green light from Leeds City Council for another 50 years at the helm.

Leeds City Council has granted a 50-year lease that will see the community continue to run this much-loved Edwardian era bath-house.

The decision ensures that the next generation can enjoy the benefits of affordable fitness on their doorstep.

There are also hopes to invest in and improve the facilities at Broad Lane which include a gym, pool and steam room.

The announcement came at the baths’ annual general meeting on Tuesday, where details of a successful year in 2016-2017 were reported. These included record numbers of adults learning to swim and a £63,000 financial surplus to reinvest in the organisation.

What began as a campaign to save a much-loved community space, has flourished as a social enterprise; driven by the community and delivered by a team of professional lifeguards, teachers and managers.

Chief executive Tracy Basu said: “Bramley Baths is going from strength to strength, and we’re really delighted that more people are joining in and finding out how good it is to feel fitter.

“The next step is to understand what other services people need us to offer, and to make some improvements to the building so that it is a place more people can benefit from.”

The community-led business is now in its fifth year. The people behind it celebrated the news of the new lease with a cake modelled on the building.

See next Tuesday’s YEP for more on this story. We will speak to former Leeds West Labour MP John Battle, who chairs Bramley Baths management board.

He tells us how he helped get the venture up and running, why other councils want to know how they did it and about ambitious plans for the future.