Only a few short years ago, Bramley Baths – the only remaining Edwardian bath house in Leeds, built back in 1904 – looked set for closure by the cash-strapped city council and likely to fall into ruin or be sold to developers. But it was saved from the axe by determined members of the local community swimming against the tide of local authority cutbacks and they have now reported its annual turnover has surpassed more than £500,000.
The social enterprise, which began in 2013, has been doing such sterling work Leeds Council recently granted them a 50-year lease for the building. The pool is open for swimming lessons to people of all ages, while there is also a steam room and gym.
There can be little surprise that their efforts have attracted national attention from other organisations keen to replicate their success in making the absolute most out of what is a community asset, in every sense of the phrase.