THE CAMPAIGN to return the Brine Baths to Droitwich Spa has moved a step closer after drawings of a proposal to restore the once popular attraction were made available to Wychavon District Council to view.
The plans have been put forward by SOBBS (Save Our Brine Baths) and could see the feature built as an extension to the town’s Lido, which has become a regular destination for Spa residents and visitors from further afield since it was reopened in 2007.
Initial ideas suggest the main pool be split into two sections – one for assisted medical purposes and the other for general use.
It is believed by the group that underwater seating should be available for less able users and also that a free-standing fresh water whirlpool be added as a further feature, along with changing rooms, a sauna, in-house health and beauty rooms and a cafe.
Coun Bob Brookes is currently working with a German firm on his Tower Hill project and it is hoped the company may be able to offer advice on the way the ‘handling of the brine’ should be done as well as make recommendations on the full sized proposal.
Currently, SOBBS suggests full architectural drawings on the building and engineering should be prepared for building consent, along with a feasibility study. That would include building cost, proposed entrance fees and possible income. SOBBS also suggests a project manager be appointed from Wychavon District Council.
Meetings are planned with MP Nigel Huddleston, MEP Daniel Dalton and Mr Mohi El-Shazly from the Droitwich Knee Clinic for their input and funding applications would be made to Droitwich Spa Town Council, Wychavon District Council, Worcestershire County Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Lottery.
The Standard reported back in November how a £200,000 fund from BMI Healthcare, which the council secured when the company closed the brine baths for breaking its lease, was available to be used to fund a new Brine Baths.
Phil Merrick, Wychavon District Council’s head of economy and communities, said: “Wychavon District Council recognises the aspirations to attract a brine facility for Droitwich Spa and is willing to work with parties with a commercially led proposal which is proven to be viable and deliverable.
“If required the council is willing to consider a potential investment of up to £200,000.
“Our position is open to consider viable investments in any part of the town and is not specific to the Lido only.”
SOBBS will have an informative stand at this year’s Salt Fest, which is due to take place in the town on September 10 and 11.
Members there will be on hand to answer any questions people may have.
In the meantime, the group’s fund-raising activities will continue with the next event being a fashion show in October.
Anyone wanting more information can e-mail email@example.com or visit the ‘SOBBS – Save Our Brine Baths’ Facebook page.
William Moy, from campaign group SOBBS, told The Standard: “Given the response we have received to our proposal, we in SOBBS feel that we have a lot to do from hereon in and would appreciate help and support from within the community.
“We would urge people to come along to our meetings and consider joining our group.
“We shall need specialist help with planning, engineering and the legal aspects of this project which has the potential to be the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Droitwich Spa.”