Sutton baths business plan nears completion

NMAC11-1245-1'Bethany Hibberd-Sweet, left and Jessica Shropshire with their file which they have put together to support their bid to get the Sutton baths turned into a youth centre.
NMAC11-1245-1'Bethany Hibberd-Sweet, left and Jessica Shropshire with their file which they have put together to support their bid to get the Sutton baths turned into a youth centre.

OFFICIALS behind plans to refurbish Sutton Baths to create a new heritage and community centre say a business plan is almost completed and they are exploring funding options.

The Sutton Living Memory Group, which has formed the Freshfield Project dealing specifically with the Baths, wants to create a heritage centre for all members of the community.

Treasurer Darren Ellis said that he hoped the emphasis on social industrial and cultural heritage - such as the fact that Eric Clapton’s band Cream played at the Baths would inspire people who did not like traditional history lessons at school.

He added: “We are trying to make the heritage and history of the area more accessible. It is about social inclusion.”

And while centre would be based in Sutton, it would examine the history of the whole of Ashfield.

Members of the group, who are hoping to secure the building from Ashfield District Council as part of an asset transfer scheme, say the Baths building can become a hub for all sectors of the community - including the young.

Yesterday, the plans were welcomed by Ashfield School pupils Bethany Hibberd-Sweet and Jessica Shropshire (both 13-years-old) who want to create a youth facility in the building - and have put forward plans on what activities would be on offer.

Mr Ellis says he hopes the girls and other teenagers in the area could help research the district’s history themselves and find out about what is interesting to them.

Bethany said: “I think that would be a good idea - we are both very excited about it.”