HPB Visits Mounts Baths

A warm welcome awaited Historic Pools of Britain in Northampton for our Autumn event hosted by Mounts Baths.  With a packed agenda, the day started off at the town’s spectacular Guildhall.

Funding models and opportunities were a hot topic, with Mounts Baths sharing its experiences of working on a series of successful projects, and the partnership work that this required.  It was highlighted how much importance all funders placed on the Baths historic features, and the desire to save these.  Members should also note that as part of its bid submission Mounts Baths found a letter of support from Historic Pools valuable, something that we are glad to be able to assist with.

This work at Mounts Baths is ongoing, with further projects in the pipeline, for a pool that is very much the pride of Trilogy Leisure.  It has already worked with Oaks Consultancy on a number of funding bids, and it is clear that the strategies employed have paid off.  It was therefore also incredibly useful for guests to hear Oaks’ Aaron Dunkley speak about ways to identify funding support, relevant opportunities and advice on pulling together a business plan.

The spotlight was then placed on two other member pools, both Grade II* listed gems whose future is being driven forward thanks to the amazing work of their volunteer trustees.

Guests found extremely useful the insight from Moseley Road’s Kat Pearson on the learnings six months on from when registered charity, Moseley Road Baths CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) took over the running of the pool from the council. A volunteers programme, swimming for schools, training and a crowdfunder have all been part of the make-up of a very busy period.



Whilst for Cleveland Pools, its focus has been upon its Business Plan and ensuring that it has everything in place to try and unlock the funding to support the restoration of this pool, which was closed in 1984. Chair Paul Simons talked guests through visuals of the plans for the site and the potential that it offers.



Next guests made their way to Mounts Baths for a behind the scenes guided tour around this splendid pool and Turkish baths. Opened in 1936 it has witnessed many different chapters of history; from the demobbing of World War II soldiers to being used by Olympic champions.

One of the things that also became clear during the visit is the role that Mounts Baths plays in the story of the town’s heritage; both as a civic building and in the telling of the story of Bassett-Lowke, the Chair of the Baths Committee, and a great believer in Modernism.  This story extends to Basset-Lowke’s home, where the interiors were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  A tour of this truly amazing home was the final treat for those not taking a splash at Mounts Baths to bring the day to a close.