Community fighting to save Elland baths

Supporters at Elland Baths
Supporters at Elland Baths
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Residents are determined to re-open Elland Baths which were suddenly shut down in December 2011 after being deemed unsafe to use.

A Save Elland Baths committee has been formed and aims to secure an asset management transfer from Calderdale Council.

A fundraising target of £150,000 has been set which would hopefully kick-start matched funding.

The future of the council-owned baths would then be in the control of the community.

Committee member Caroline Trigg said: “It’s still early days but we have already raised £2,000 from selling a few cakes and bric-a-brac.”

The group has already paid for reports from a surveyor and structural engineer and the estimated costs of repairs is up to £300,000.

A business plan and feasibility study are now being prepared.

Councillor Pat Allen (Lib-Dem, Elland) vowed the baths would re-open.

“We will definitely do this. We will not stop until we do and are making sure our case is solid,” she said.

Residents say the closing of the town’s baths was a step too far.

Margot Wainwright said the population was growing and currently 65 homes are being built at Huddersfield Road.

“Yet, a community facility is closed,” she said.

“Elland seems to have been forgotten in favour of other towns.”

Maegan Tatterlsey, 10, joined a demonstration outside the baths.

“We used to go swimming with school to Elland baths and now we have to go to Halifax,” she said.

The Save Elland Baths group is now active on Facebook and the internet and planned fundraising events include on April 14 Coun Pat Allen’s “Big 0” birthday bash pub crawl in fancy dress - with her dressed as a St Trinian - starting at the Traveller’s Rest, 4 pm; On April 27 there is an 11-mile evening walk starting at The Cross, 7.30 pm. On August 18, there will be an “Elland’s Got Talent” at Berties, and there are also plans for a “Full Monty.” Recently the Go Bananas toddler group which meets at Bankfield Social Club, Elland, raised £200 towards the cause. The campaign group say the closure of the baths was a huge disappointment to many in Elland and the surrounding villages and many people are willing to support the campaign.