At the turn of the year, with costs rising, Fusion Lifestyle decided to withdraw from their project at Jacobs Wells Baths. They had planned to restore the swimming pool as part of a leisure, dance and arts, and community centre. We shared the disappointment of local people, as it has always been our ambition to see this Grade II listed building, first opened in 1889, and asset of community value restored to its former glory and back in active use.
Our administration created the time to consider next steps for the site by deferring officer proposals to dispose of it – removing it from the list of other surplus council-owned properties which we have decided to sell on the open market. In the meantime, we have received some initial expressions of interest from a few parties, sharing their ideas for the future of the site on Jacob’s Wells Road.
Having considered their submissions with the property team and the Mayor’s Office, including the beginnings of funding plans, and after visiting the site, we have decided to open up a public expressions of interest process to formally select a preferred bidder to transform the former baths.
Organisations will have until 9am on Tuesday 2 May to send us an outline of their viable proposals (short of a fully-costed and detailed business plan). These will be scored out of 60 by the Community Asset Transfer board using the following criteria:
- Track record of managing community assets and understanding of all legislation applicable to managing the building (10);
- Financial viability of the proposal: capital, future revenue streams, running costs (10);
- Ability to preserve and restore a prominent, historic, listed building (10);
- Clear vision for the building (5);
- Range and level of local community and social benefits (5);
- Ability to engage the diverse communities that make up Bristol (5);
- Ability to make a significant contribution to the arts, culture and leisure offer in Bristol (5);
- Capacity and capability to manage the asset to a high standard (5);
- Track record and commitment to working in partnership (5).
Interested parties can see from the previous guide to the site, and other documents from when we undertook a full Community Asset Transfer process in 2017, that the site remains in need of significant work. The former dance studio’s floor is rotting, and the roof in particular needs a lot of attention.
To submit an expression of interest, ask to visit the site, or enquire for further information, please contact email@example.com