Leeds 2023: Bramley Baths colleagues take the pluge to back culture bid

Tracy Basu, Bramley Baths chief executive and operations manager Courtney Harrison
Tracy Basu, Bramley Baths chief executive and operations manager Courtney Harrison
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Four years ago, the people of Bramley began writing a new chapter in the story of a much-loved building which has stood at the heart of their community for more than a century.

Bramley Baths, which first opened as a pool and public bath-house in 1904, opened in 2013 as a community hub run by and for people from the area, led by a dedicated team of social entrepreneurs determined to preserve a key part of their local heritage.

Triathlete Beginners for at Bramley Baths, Leeds..Owen Scurrah-Smyth is pictured during the session..11th January 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Triathlete Beginners for at Bramley Baths, Leeds..Owen Scurrah-Smyth is pictured during the session..11th January 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Today, the Grade II-listed baths is thriving, home to fitness and leisure facilities as well as hosting a fantastic programme of vintage swimming classes, street dance and even classic film screenings.

And now those behind the unique venture have backed Leeds’ march towards becoming European Capital of Culture in 2023 with fewer than 100 days to go until the bid is submitted.

Tracy Basu, chief executive of Bramley Baths, said: “Bramley Baths is a place powered by people and those people are the true driving force behind culture and communities in Leeds.

“Places like Bramley Baths bring people together, helping them to forge new friendships and build on their own sense of what culture means to them.

Photo Essay.. The Bramley Mermaids..Yorkshire Aquatic Life, Bramley Baths, Leeds.6th September 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Photo Essay.. The Bramley Mermaids..Yorkshire Aquatic Life, Bramley Baths, Leeds.6th September 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

“That’s why we’re pledging to get as many of the 130 nationalities in Leeds as we can to be in our swimming pool at a special swim this October and to give them the chance to choose how they represent their country at the event.”

People attending the event will also be encouraged to write on the pool’s tiles and capture what water means to them in their culture.

As the submission date approaches, anyone in Leeds can pledge their support for the bid by sharing their activities on social media using #makeleeds2023.

Other suggestions for pledges include telling 23 family and friends about the bid, sharing details about the bid with everyone on your social networks or downloading an exciting new Maker’s Manual, which includes creative ideas for how to get involved, from the Leeds 2023 website.

Photo Essay.. The Bramley Mermaid..Yorkshire Aquatic Life, Bramley Baths, Leeds..Lucy Meredith dressed as a mermaid.6th September 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Photo Essay.. The Bramley Mermaid..Yorkshire Aquatic Life, Bramley Baths, Leeds..Lucy Meredith dressed as a mermaid.6th September 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Sharon Watson, chair of the Leeds 2023 independent steering group, said: “The enthusiasm for the bid that we’ve already seen from people across Leeds has been truly inspiring and it’s clearer than ever that there’s an incredible passion for this once-in-a-generation opportunity for our city.

“With the all-important submission date now fast approaching, we’re keen to harness that collective energy and help spread the message that the bid is something that everyone, from every walk of life can be a part of.

“We’d urge as many people as possible to take this chance to get involved, pledge their support and help show the world that culture is at the absolute heart of Leeds and our communities.”

More details of how to pledge your support or where you can download a Maker’s Manual can be found at: http://leeds2023.co.uk/

Tomorrow: How Aspire Community Benefit Society is planning to #makeleeds2023

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