Spotlight on future of historic Flintshire baths

Reporter:

Matt Jones

KEY talks to resolve the fate of a town’s historic swimming baths are to get under way.

A working group set up to look at uses for the old Buckley swimming baths building will meet for the first time on Tuesday to consider plans to transform the derelict building into a brand new community facility.

But with funding for the project a huge issue, finding the cash for the work could be problematic.

The meeting marks the start of the next stage in the site’s redevelopment after Buckley Town Council launched a campaign to ask residents for their views.

Cllr John Thornton, chairman of the town council’s finance and economic development committee, said: “We have had a tremendous amount of replies.

“The first meeting will be to look at what to use the hall for, secondly to have it checked to see what work needs to be done and third is finances. It is going to be difficult because of government cutbacks.

“It belongs to the people of Buckley. There are various groups from the town who would like to use it.”

While work under the plans would take place at the back of the baths, the building’s listed frontage would remain intact.

Suggestions include turning the baths into a new community recording studio, an indoor bowling centre or a museum to mark the town’s industrial heyday.

Cllr Thornton said the final use of the building could be influenced by what grants are available.

He said: “My view is for it to be multi-purpose for the use of the whole town.

“If it was used for arts and sports then there would be more places to apply to.”

The baths were a huge hit in the town for decades after they were opened in 1928 but the building was finally closed in 2005, when a new swimming pool opened at Buckley leisure centre.

See full story in the Leader

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