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This is the campaign website to save Victoria Leisure Centre in Nottingham from closure.

URGENT!

Please sign our petiton to prevent the Council from demolishing Victoria Baths >

It is getting towards crunch time – Tuesday 7 April 2009 7pm at the Committee Room of the Council House – when Nottingham City Council’s Executive Board will vote on which of the three design options for the new Victoria Leisure Centre they’ll develop.

We fear that the Council are firmly behind Option C which offers the least amount of facilities and will see virtually all of the building destroyed! We are urgently asking people to write to or visit their Councillors to ask them to support Option A, which offers the most facilities for the cheapest cost and is the most environmentally friendly of the three designs. You can also come to the meeting and speak!

The Campaign’s response to Option C (contains vital information you may wish information you may wish to mention to your Councillor or bring up at the Area 6 meeting – SUMMARY)

The Campaign’s response to Option C (contains vital information you may wish information you may wish to mention to your Councillor or bring up at the Area 6 meeting)

Sign our petiton to prevent the Council from demolishing Victoria Baths

 

DESIGNS FOR THE NEW VICTORIA LEISURE CENTRE UNVEILED!

On Monday 5 January 2009, Nottingham City Council unveiled three proposals for the new Victoria Leisure Centre designed by the architects Levitate.

The proposals are presented as a starting point for debate, so please take the time to look over them all and let the council know your views. Feel free to pick your favourite elements from each design and let the council know why. We only have until Friday 6 March 2009 to respond. Please download the Save Victoria Baths campaign group’s response to the proposals, to give you an idea of our thoughts and to let you know exactly who to address your comments to. You can also download the results of our public survey conducted straight after the designs were unveiled. This is a very important chance to have your say!

 

SAVE VICTORIA BATHS CAMPAIGN’S AIMS ARE:

To preserve as much as possible of the original building and functions, especially the important historical elements of the existing building and respectfully incorporate these into any new facilities.

Provide a minimal gap in leisure provision for the east of the city while the new facilities are built.Ensure that this investment provides a high quality, long-term and sustainable solution with the potential to service the east of the city for another 100 years to come.
Our position is based on an extensive survey of local people conducted in May – November 2008 to find out exactly what facilities they would like to see in the new leisure centre and what parts of the existing building they would like to see retained. 646 people completed the survey, which was launched at the Free Fun Day at Victoria Leisure Centre and Sneinton Market on Saturday 31 May 2008. Our position is also based on the Nottingham City Council’s own Tell Us Your .

 

NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL’S POSITION:

Following the success of our campaign in February and March 2008, Nottingham City Council has pledged to invest £8 million in new leisure facilities on the site of the existing Victoria Leisure Centre. In May 2008 they set up a Working Group (including campaign members) who devised an architect’s brief for the project. In September 2008 this brief was contracted to London based architects Levitate who have drawn up three different possible plans for the new leisure centre. These were unveiled to the public on 5 January 2009 and will be presented to Nottingham City Council’s Executive Board a some point before March. You can download Levitate’s plans in the section below and have your say on what you like the best.

SHOCKING DISCOVERY ABOUT THE TRUE COST OF THE VICTORIA LEISURE CENTRE

13 November 2008

The campaign has discovered that the Condition Surveys, used by the Council to justify the attempted closure of the VLC, provide an outline cost of around £2m for a complete refurbishment to achieve a good condition of building and services, a properly constructed roof to ensure longevity, and a redesigned interior to meet current customer expectations. This compares very favourably to other examples of refurbished Victorian Baths.

This is what many of us who marched earlier this year want. We would like to know:

Why did the Council mislead the public in their arguments to close the Centre?
Why has the Council subsequently engaged in a very long-winded development process (including the considerable expense of hiring a London based architect to draw up a feasibility study for the Leisure Centre and surrounding site) when they have already costed the solution and (given the commitment to fund £5-7 million of developments to the Leisure Centre) can easily afford it?
Why does the Council persist in the belief that refurbishment of the Leisure Centre is too expensive and unpopular, when the financial facts say otherwise and in survey after survey, people consistently say they want to keep the VLC as it is but brought up to a decent standard?
NEW SURVEY SHOWS MAJORITY WANT TO MAKE THE EXISTING VICTORIA LEISURE CENTRE BETTER

1 November 2008

On Saturday 1 November , braving the wind & cold, campaign stalwarts Tom & Fidel set up shop at Sneinton Market to give people a chance to voice their opinions on whether they’d rather an all-new purpose built leisure centre, or whether they’d rather save the best bits of the existing building whilst making it more modern.

In total, 92% of those surveyed said they’d rather save the best bits of the existing building whilst making it more modern.

The campaign posed this question to clarify the results of the Tell Us Your View survey undertaken by the Council in March 08 , where 80% wished to keep the existing facilities and 93% of those surveyed would rather see Nottingham City Council put the money they promised into making VLC better.
ARCHITECTS APPOINTED TO DEVELOP LEISURE CENTRE AND BROOK STREET SITE

22 October 2008

In October this year, London based architects, Levitate were appointed to produce an Options and Feasibility Study for the redevelopment of the Victoria Leisure Centre and the adjoining cleared site on Brook Street. The Options and Feasibility study will examine how the site could be redeveloped to provide a new leisure facility, to include a swimming pool, within a mix of other uses that will encourage the regeneration of this area. This study will put forward 3 options for the Council to consider.

The Campaign would like to know:

Why aren’t the architects being asked specifically to keep the VLC as it is but brought up to a decent standard, as in survey after survey, people have consistently asked for this?
Why are the architects not engaging with the range of people that the campaign has, if it is so concerned to involve the community in its plans?
Why did the architects use their first meeting with stakeholders to essentially ask the same questions that campaigners on the Working Group have spent the last 5 months addressing?
COUNCIL MOVE THE GOALPOSTS

20 October 2008

The Council has just announced that they are committed to “replacing the old centre with a new swimming pool, that would form part of the major redevelopment scheme for the Sneinton Market and Eastside area.”

However, in March the Executive Board “confirmed their earlier decision to close the centre”…and…”committed to providing a replacement facility either on the existing site, at the new Eastside Academy or elsewhere locally on the east side of the city”.

Why the change of heart?

Now would be a great time for a Local Authority to take advantage of the downturn in the construction industry to refurbish the Baths to a high standard but cheaply using the money that they have already pledged (if they have any cash left at all after the Icelandic adventures, that is). All the effort going in to trying to make clever, complex deals could instead by focussed on how to use the immense amount of community energy invested in the Baths to ensure their successful long term future management: Development Trust, anyone?

 

THE COUNCIL IS TRYING TO SIDELINE THE CAMPAIGN GROUP

28 September 2008

The Council is trying to sideline the campaign group by saying it’s listening and working in partnership but in fact doing the opposite.

We spent long hours during May, June & July meeting with the Council to agree an Architect’s brief for the new developments at the Victoria Leisure Centre but the brief that went out missed several key elements: that there must be 2 pools, and that there must one reception area with excellent connectivity to the Market place. It was pushed out over the summer holidays whilst people were away.

We are becoming convinced that the Council want to maximise the amount of commercial development on the market side (it is the only commercially viable frontage to the combined site) and rebuild the Vic Baths on the Brook St site as a bland ‘McLeisure Centre’. This is why they are dead against refurbishment.

The Council simply say that they are ruling nothing in or out; but if that’s the case, why do they refuse to reveal any of the condition surverys done on the building (which was the original reason they wanted to shut the Baths – it was “too decrepit”) and why did they fix the Brief so as to invite schemes which would do exactly what we fear?

 

VICTORIA LEISURE CENTRE WORKING GROUP

24 June 2008

Three members of the Save Victoria Baths campaign have been put forward to join the newly formed Victoria Leisure Centre Working Group, and to work closely alongside Nottingham City Council and representatives of other local groups to develop plans for the new leisure centre.

The Working Group has drawn up a brief which was used to commission a London based architectural practise, Levitate to put forward a feasibility study which will recommend 3 options to the Council. Levitate, in partnership with TANC have recently held their first public consultation event in order to gain an insight into what is wanted by the community.

 
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE?

31 March 2008

The Save Victoria Baths campaign was launched on Friday 8 February 2008, following Nottingham City Council’s announcement of their proposal to close the much-loved, 150 year old city centre leisure facility. On Tuesday 19 February the Council’s Executive Board voted for the closure of the Leisure Centre in principle. Following this vote, they allowed for a month long period of consultation with local residents and Leisure Centre users before making their final decision. During this period they received an overwhelming response in opposition to their proposal including over 1300 emails, letters and feedback forms, a petition hand-signed by nearly 4000 and an online petition signed by 1432.

Then on Tuesday 18 March 2008 Nottingham City Council’s Executive Board met again to make their final decision on the future of Victoria Leisure Centre. This meeting saw two major successes for the campaign to Save Victoria Baths: first and foremost, they announced that the Leisure Centre would not close at Easter as was originally proposed. The Council then granted a further nine months (until the end of the year) for proposals to be drawn up for new leisure facilities. In addition, Nottingham City Council pledged to invest £7 million in these new facilities for the east of the city.