Byrne Avenue Baths set to re-open in 2012
A MUCH-LOVED Wirral swimming baths which shut down dramatically just over two years ago could be reopened by the end of 2012.
Byrne Avenue Baths is set to undergo a major £750,000 refurbishment and those behind its revival say it should be open by November.
Residents and staff at the Rock Ferry baths were left shocked in February 2009 when a notice was pinned to the door saying the pool had shut down during its 75th anniversary year.
It had been run by a registered charity, the Byrne Avenue Recreational Trust, who leased the building from Wirral Council, which owns the freehold.
The council last year agreed to lease the building to the Byrne Avenue Community Trust, made up of a group of local businessmen, who aim to see it become a community centre run by and for local people.
The authority has also put forward £350,000 towards the cost of bringing the centre back into use, with a range of activities planned for the site. The intention is to create a centre which can help the local community, providing jobs and sports facilities.
John Fennah, one of those leading the bid to revive the centre, said the day it shut had been “heart-wrenching”.
He has assembled a group of local companies including building surveyors Grantley Lowe, engineers PDS Consulting, lawyers Bermans and accountant Trevor Mathew-Jones who have already worked for free to develop a rescue package for the centre.
With the help of local MP Alison McGovern they are now putting together plans to add to the funding already earmarked from Wirral Council. Mr Fennah said: “The plan is to open in November next year – ambitious as it might be, we have a timeline and something to aim for.
“Now we want to say to the local community and people across Wirral, if there are people who can help in any way, we’d be delighted if they get in touch.”