Work finally restarts on Baths project

August 26 2016

Work has restarted during the summer after months of delay to complete the remaining construction at the former swimming baths on Gloucester Road.

Baths project

Work has restarted during the summer after months of delay to complete the remaining construction  at the former swimming baths on Gloucester Road.

Bristol City Council has appointed a new contractor to complete the Bristol North Baths project which was put on hold in November last year when the council terminated its agreement with developer Chatsworth Homes after a  series of delays with the project, which was initially due to be finished by October 2013.

The new contractor, CW Duke, will be focusing on completing 10 new build flats, library space, car park and public convenience before moving on to the remaining refurbishment works within the former swimming pool. Flat buyers are expected to receive the keys to their properties in early November 2016.

Redland councillors Martin Fodor and Fi Hance have taken a keen interest in the many twists and turns of this complicated project to convert the Grade II listed building. They commented: "We're both relieved that the completion of this decade-long project is now visibly back on track. After all the behind the scenes work to ensure completion meets the required standards we obviously think it will be a great relief to everyone who’s waited with frustration. The final piece of the jigsaw for us has been to ask officers to see if the negotiations with Bishopston Medical Practice can agree a basis to come in and replace their temporary home in Neville Road.” 

Martin added: “I also asked the outgoing Mayor for a commitment that lessons learned should be studied and he agreed. I'm still keen we get a report on this so that no similar problems are likely to recur."  

Since taking back control of the building, the council has been conducting a thorough technical review of the site to ensure the structure conforms to the required technical specifications and performance standards.

Cllr Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Place at Bristol City Council, said: “We are very pleased to report that work is now underway to complete this long overdue project. Council colleagues have been in touch with local representatives and ward councillors to update them, and also to thank them for their patience. We know that it has been extremely frustrating to see no activity on site for several months but it was vital that we ensure the development is completed to technical and safety standards and meets all the latest regulations.”

Completion of the internal reconfiguration and refurbishment of the former swimming pool will start as soon as tenant requirements and contractual arrangements are finalised. The Council has met with representatives from Bishopston Medical Practice several times and they have confirmed their willingness to enter into negotiations for a new lease within the building.