Plans to re-open Elland Baths suffer a setback

Campaigners outside the baths
Campaigners outside the baths

A community group hoping to re-open Elland Baths has been told by council bosses that its business plan is very basic and shows a lack of understanding of the asset transfer process.

Save Elland Baths has been campaigning to take over the baths which closed in December 2011 owing to the structural stability of the building and pool.

The group submitted a proposal to Calderdale Council under the community management of assets scheme.

A report to the authority’s Cabinet committee, which meets on December 9, recommends that the application is rejected.

It said: “The contents of the business plan did not demonstrate that the group has the capacity or skills to deliver a successful asset transfer of Elland Pool.

“Despite the considerable support and advice the council has provided about the expectations from a submission for asset transfer, the final submission received did not demonstrate that this advice has been used to develop a feasible business plan for re-opening the pool as an operational sports facility.”

The report said it was clear that the Save Elland Baths group was committed to re-opening the pool but the case submitted did not give council officers the confidence that group members had fully understood the implications of the transfer of an asset of this size and complexity.

It concludes: “Save Elland Baths has not demonstrated that they have fully considered all capital and revenue implications due to the enormity of this project.”

The report says the council must now look at alternative options for the site.

Ward Coun David Hardy said he hoped cabinet members would defer making a decision on application and allow members of Save Elland Baths more time to investigate the issues.

“The campaigners are going to cabinet to ask for it to be deferred so they can get a professional report. That’s the common sense approach. I hope the cabinet will go down that road.”

Coun Hardy said he still supported the campaign to have the facility re-opened.

“I would very much like it to remain as a pool as it’s a good community asset.”