Fight for Heath Town Baths
Heath Town Baths – a West Midlands landmark
The combined Heath Town Baths and Library building was opened in 1932. The Grade II Listed building has both architectural and social-historical importance locally and architectural significance nationally. It was closed in 2006 and has since fallen into substantial disrepair. The building sits at the heart of Heath Town and its preservation and bringing back into use is stated to be a high priority in the draft Neighbourhood Plan prepared for Heathfield Park.
It is the intention of the Tessa Sanderson Foundation & Academy to work with Wolverhampton City Council and the local community to revive a once much-loved community facility as an economically viable leisure and library complex serving the residents of Heath Town. Under the proposed scheme, the building will house a sports and well-being academy catering to the recreational needs of the local community, both in terms of developing sports and sports coaching skills and improving knowledge and awareness of local heritage.
The community of Heath Town will reap economic and environmental impact benefits through the use of an iconic building which will once again become a hub of local activity. The sporting opportunity offered to its residents will enhance quality of life in the area.
When complete, the renovated building will offer multi-purpose sports facilities on the ground floor and a restored library space upstairs. Outside there will be a six-lane 60m running track, cricket nets and a surface for tennis, netball and basketball.
Tessa Sanderson-White CBE (the 1984 Olympic javelin gold medallist) and her husband Densign White (three times an Olympian in judo) were both raised in Wolverhampton and understand fully the potential of this project. Indeed, Densign learned his martial arts skills at the Heath Town Judo Club which was run out of Heath Town Baths in the 1970s and 1980s.
TSFA has formed a small team dedicated specifically to making this project happen. Inevitably, much focus will be on raising the necessary funding. A feasibility study carried out at the end of 2011 suggests that somewhere in the region of £4-5m is required. The process has begun to source those funds via access to available grant monies. There will be local fundraising initiatives also in due course.
The timescale of this project will depend on a number of factors, the most important of which is securing the funding.
Tessa Sanderson-White CBE