Words by Ed King
Witton Lodge Community Association’s (WLCA) plans to redevelop the old Erdington Baths into a vibrant ‘Enterprise Hub’ are set to receive £795,000 from Birmingham City Council.
Announced today, the City will be allocating over three quarters of a million pounds from its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund – to help repair the old public bath’s roof and allow WLCA to manage operations from the site.
The significant investment from Birmingham City Council follows a recent £2m commitment from the West Midlands Combined Authority, who pledged the money as part of its 2018 brownfield and housing delivery programme.
With further support from Birmingham City Council, the ambitious project – which would create jobs and opportunities for new business in the heart of Erdington – will be part a key of the revised Levelling Up Fund application which could bring millions to Erdington High Street.
As he approved today’s grant, Birmingham City Council Leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “For generations, the baths were a much-loved facility for the people of Erdington, and this is an important step in the efforts to give this historic building a new lease of life right at the heart of the community.
“I’m delighted we are working alongside Witton Lodge Community Association to transform the old baths building on Mason Road and this exciting project is a key part of the overall Levelling Up Fund bid for Erdington High Street, which will bring the community together, support local businesses and improve accessibility to wider employment opportunities for the residents of Erdington.”
Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton, who has worked with the City Council to develop the Erdington High Street Levelling Up Fund bid, added: “This funding is fantastic news. I hope it will kick start our plans for a brand new community and enterprise hub in Erdington run by Witton Lodge Community Association, who do amazing work locally.
“The new hub would bring enormous benefits for local people by providing employment opportunities, helping to develop skills and offering space for small businesses to develop and grow.
“The Council’s decision to help fund this project should send a message to Ministers about how committed we are to transforming Erdington High Street. We want to make the area a destination again, and now we need the Government to back our Levelling Up bid to make that a reality.”
Witton Lodge Community Association Chief Officer Afzal Hussain told Erdington Local: “We’re deeply grateful to the Council for its support and funding to kickstart Phase 1 works on the Erdington Enterprise Hub.
“The funding will enable us to refurbish the roof and entrance area and actively engage local residents, entrepreneurs and businesses to showcase and shape plans on the ambitious project.
“We have already secured funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority and with planning approval also in place, we’re now only waiting on the Government to approve Erdington’s Levelling Up bid. Fingers crossed!”
For more on the new Enterprise Hub visit www.erdingtonbaths.webflow.io