You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘kentish town baths’ tag.
The council have announced that a staggering 22,000 people have visited Kentish Town Baths since they opened at the end of July. As a regular user, I’m pleased that so many people are enjoying the baths too. They really have been a huge success and the queue often stretches out of the door on a Saturday morning.
My colleague Flick Rea, who pioneered the restoration work as Camden’s Executive Member for Culture, said: “That tens of thousands of people have rushed to use the baths shows that the spectacular refurbishment was worth every single penny. It’s absolutely wonderful to see this building back where it belongs at the heart of the community in Kentish Town.
“For many years Labour stood back while this beautiful piece of Camden’s heritage became down run down: at one point they even wanted to have it demolished. I’m very proud that the Liberal Democrats stepped in to save the Baths. It was the right decision, and leaves a lasting legacy to the borough.
“I hope thousands more will visit the baths and enjoy the great facilities there for years and years to come.”
Seriously, it’s not that often that major projects such as this are delivered on time, on budget and go on to attract huge visitor numbers. Well done to Flick, and to all the Camden officers who worked so hard to make this happen.
Two projects given planning permission last night show how decisions taken by the Liberal Democrats are set to benefit young people in Camden for many years to come.
Firstly, the Talacre Boxing Club is set to be fully rebuilt, with much needed new housing above. This is something that Jill Fraser has pushed on for years, and was steered through by my colleague Ralph Scott when Liberal Democrats led the Council. Together with Kentish Town Baths, another achievement that we can be proud of, and the ongoing success of the Talacre Sports Centre, the new boxing club will provide an answer to the much repeated moan “there isn’t anything to do around here”. There is, and there will soon be even more.
Also, the UCL Academy, a partnership between Camden Council and a first class local university, was granted planning permission and is now just waiting for government money to be approved. The Academy was a key manifesto commitment for the Liberal Democrats in 2006 and, although slowed down by national Labour’s painful bureaucratic hoops and local Labour’s delaying tatics and sabotage attempts, it now looks well on the way to becoming a reality.
Good news for all those who care about Camden’s young people, both at school and out of school.
UPDATE: The government has now confirmed that building projects at the UCL Academy, Swiss Cottage Special School and South Camden Community School will go ahead. Read what Camden Lib Dem Leader Keith Moffitt has to say here.
The spectacular revamp of Kentish Town Baths was unveiled to the public today.
Back in 2006 the Liberal Democrats pledged to rescue the fabulous building, and we did: on time and on budget. I have been priveldged enough to have several sneak previews as the building work progressed, and also kept a close eye on the project as Chair of Camden’s Culture Committee. It’s been a real model of how councils should manage large projects, with the Viictorian heriatage of the site respected and the baths’ user group consulted every step of the way.
Jill Fraser and I had a sneak preview inside Kentish Town Baths this week.
Lib Dems on Camden Council kept a key election pledge by investing millions in the much loved historic building, which had fallen into chronic levels of disrepair under Labour. It’s great that the baths will soon re-open for local people to enjoy: on a personal level, I can’t wait to be able to pop down Prince of Wales Road to get to my local swimming pool.
Although there are dust sheets everywhere and lots of work still to do, the building is coming along really well and starting to take shape. The fully restored Victorian ceilings are looking spectacular, and there’s a wonderful bright and airy feel which will make the centre a fantastic place to visit to stay fit and healthy. As well as the three pools, there will be a gym and fitness centre, and the council are exploring the possibility of an interactive games room to attract younger people.
This project just goes to show how precious our local heritage is: Labour should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a magnificent building to fall into ruin.
We’re hoping the building will be open in the Summer: watch this space for further updates.