Stirchley baths activity plan final


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Stirchley baths activity plan final

  1. 1. Stirchley Baths Activity Plan 10 June 2013 0 | Page
  2. 2. Stirchley Baths Community ‘Hub’ Activity Plan Prepared for Birmingham City Council by Dr Suzanne Carter and Simon Buteux Birmingham Conservation Trust P O Box 28 Birmingham B1 1TU Tel: 0121 303 2664 Email: 1 | Page
  3. 3. “The baths, they may have come and gone, but memories live on and on”. “Stirchley Baths the building site in the middle of Stirchley – it will be great to have it open as a community space at the heart of the area”. “At last light at the end of the tunnel”. “Stirchley needs to find its heart again. A hub for everyone is what is needed; children, teenagers, families, older people, you and me!” “Used to go swimming here every week with my best friend Sarah, we used to take our sandwiches for lunch and spend all day there… I walk past it every day and it always makes me smile thinking about the good times all them years ago”. “With the right care and attention a once iconic building could be restored to its former glory and provide that link with history that Birmingham so often ignores, and we can’t let it happen again!” Comments by local residents 2 | Page
  4. 4. Engaging Local Communities and Stakeholders 3 | Page
  5. 5. 1. INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Significance of Stirchley Baths Ownership and Management of the Site Heritage Lottery Fund Aims Aims and Objectives of the Activity Plan Preparing the Activity Plan Structure of the Report Abbreviations Used in the Report 2. WHERE ARE WE NOW? 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Current Condition of the Baths and Current Community Facilities Current Users Current Activities and Volunteering Current Commitment to Involving People Community Consultation Competitor Analysis and Potential Partners Non-user/Potential-user Research and Opportunities Barriers to Involvement 3 WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Our Aspirations Our Target Audiences Marketing: Reaching New Audiences Actions to Remove Barriers for Target Audiences Aims for Activities Recommendations (targets) for Participation and Learning Potential Partners and Collaborations 4 HOW DO WE INTEND TO GET THERE? 4.1 4.2 Action Plan Key Recommendations 5 MEASURES OF SUCCESS 5.1 Evaluation 78 6. CONCLUSION 78 7. RESEARCH SOURCES 79 8. APPENDICES A: List of Consultees B: Timetable for Stirchley Community Centre (June 2013) C: Heritage Development Officer Commission Job Description D: Community Consultation Notes E: Sample Volunteer Role Descriptions F: History Group Workshop Notes G: Key History Dates H: English Heritage Listing Description 81 84 85 90 101 104 107 108 7 9 9 10 11 11 12 15 15 18 19 20 21 23 24 27 27 30 31 36 37 49 52 77 4 | Page
  6. 6. Location of Stirchley Baths Current Stirchley Community Centre Stirchley Baths British Oak Public House Stirchley Library Indoor Bowls Centre Copyright Bluesky Co-operative Superstore Farmfoods Stirchley Park Stirchley is about four miles south of Birmingham City Centre. Stirchley Baths are located on the historic gyratory, on the corner of Bounville Lane and Hazelwell Street, heading towards the city centre. The Pershore Road runs through Stirchley, as does the railway line, River Rea and canal. “Everything flows through Stirchley. Stirchley Baths can be place where you can rest, contemplate what community is – a reason to stop”. (Local resident) 5 | Page
  7. 7. The Significance of Stirchley Baths Images bottom right Jane Baker B/W images courtesy of Stirchley Community Group Centre image taken from Stirchley Baths Conservation Management Plan 6 | Page
  8. 8. 1.1 Significance of Stirchley Baths The Foundation Stone on this building was laid by William Adlington Cadbury 19th July 1910 on a Site Given by Cadbury Brothers: A.W. Cross, Surveyor. J.B. Osborne, Architect. W. Bishop, Builder”. (Inscription on bronze plaque, formally on Stirchley Baths (dating from c1959) Stirchley Baths is arguably one of Stirchley’s most iconic building. For local people alive today, the Baths have always been there, and many over the age of about thirty remember when the Baths were still functioning; the building evokes a rich variety of memories. The building is loved too for the richness and quality of its architecture, the craftsmanship and attention to detail. Derelict, the building stands as a symbol of decline, a sad reminder of past glories. Restored back to its former glory (and from the outside this will be very apparent) the building will be a symbol of a proud and vibrant community. People appreciate this; indeed, as community consultation has shown, they are passionate about it. Because of its heritage, Stirchley Baths offers qualities as a community centre that no new purpose-built community centre could hope to match. The historical significance of Stirchley Baths is presented in the Conservation Management Plan1; extracts of which are below. Stirchley Baths as it was originally known, was designed by architect John Osborne and built in 1910 by a local builder Mr E Crowder for the total sum of £10,000. The land was made available by Cadbury’s to the King Norton and Northfield Urban District Council and the building was financed by the Local Government Board. The original intention was to provide a bath house as a community facility for an increasing local population many of whom were working for Cadbury who were experiencing a rapid expansion of their factory. The land was offered to build a ‘public swimming baths, slipper or spray baths and washhouse’. At 4pm on July 19th 19102 William Adlington Cadbury laid the Foundation Stone and the following July (1911) George Cadbury Junior formally opened the building. On November 9th 1911 Kings Norton was annexed as part of the Birmingham Extension Order (along with Aston and Handsworth). From this date the facility was known as Bournville Lane Baths. There was a single swimming pool (75ft x 30ft) with spectator gallery, 46 demountable dressing cubicles at the rear of the gallery, 37 on the promenade, 20 private washing (or ‘slipper’) baths for men and women and a small steam (Russian or Vapour) bath, capable of holding six people. There was also a small laundry. In 1958, 52 metal dressing cubicles were erected around the promenade3. Separate changing areas were located adjacent to the pool along with suites of private baths for men and women. 1 Text referenced to Stirchley Baths Community Hub Conservation Management Plan, BDP where otherwise stated. 2 Key dates are listed in Appendix G 3 Steve Beauchampé’s notes supplied on Bournville Lane Baths. 7 | Page
  9. 9. The main entrance was located in grand style on the corner of the road junction between Bournville Lane and Hazelwood Street and maximum use was made of the available land as the curving façade followed the line of the pavement. The initial idea was to utilise water by boring for a well, but after considerable attempts and costs the plan was abandoned and the decision was taken to connect to the mains water supply; a first for Baths constructed in Birmingham at that time. The success of the use of mains water also included a new system of aeration and filtration for the Baths’ water. The design of the new Baths also allowed for a flexibility in use as the Baths were not to be used in the winter months. Instead they were to be used as a dance floor with the flooring being stored in an external shed. The small changing closets situated alongside the pool were to include an ingenious hinged operation back to the wall to allow greater room on the dance floor when the pool was not being used. The structure and finishes to the Baths was kept simple with predominantly white ceramic tiles although other colours were used on the walls and ceramic tiles on the floor. The choice of wood in part of the structure and linings was carefully researched with treatment applied to withstand the moisture and humidity levels, and despite the ingress of water over the years has withstood the test of time remarkably well. No changes took place to the building until after the Second World War when two hot shower baths were installed. Improvements were made to improve the welfare of the bathers with the introduction of chlorine in 1955 while the Clean Air Act of 1956 resulted in a change to oil fired burning appliances. In 1964, the Finnish Government provided a new Sauna Suite as a gift to Birmingham to promote that European Country and in 1977 these facilities were expanded to provide a further suite when the washing baths were closed. This new facility also included a television lounge and 6 beds. A multi-gym was installed in place of the original Finnish Sauna and in 1978 the two solariums were removed to be replaced by two sunbeds. The only other alteration to the Baths was the inclusion in 1973 of a ‘Mikvah’, an immersion bath used by the local Jewish community which involved the use of collected and heated rainwater. The presence of this bath can still be seen today. Stirchley Baths has been unused since 1988, slowly ravaged by the weather and wildlife since its closure. The Bournville Lane Baths were first listed by English Heritage on November 20th 1998 under the title of Stirchley Public Baths and arose out of a concern for the building which had lain empty for 12 years. The listing acknowledged then the importance of the building.4 4 Listing description can be found in Appendix H. 8 | Page
  10. 10. 1.2 Ownership and Management of the Site 1.2.1 The Baths are owned by Birmingham City Council (BCC). They have been unused since they closed in 1988. The responsibility for the condition of the building lies with Birmingham Property Services and it is this team that is working with architects Acivico to undertake the repairs to the building. Birmingham City Council has a devolution and localism agenda and is divided into ten districts. The Baths are located in Selly Oak District who is the client for the project. Any management of the building in the last 25 years has been limited to keeping the envelope of the building as sound as possible to prevent water ingress and vandalism. 1.2.2 BCC are in the process of replacing the planning guidance for Stirchley, called The Stirchley Framework 1994 (Amended 2002), with a new non-statutory document which will outline the Council’s aspirations for the area. This new framework will be released for public consultation later in 2013. This will include the wider regeneration plans for Stirchley; the most immediate is the building of a Tesco superstore on the Hazelwell Lane Development site. The sale of the land on which the current Community Centre and Indoor Bowls Centre stand gives rise to a capital receipt which secures the council’s capital investment in the redevelopment of the Baths. The long-delays in approving the plans for the Hazelwell Lane Development site has had a major negative impact on the restoration of SB, for which local councillors and residents have been campaigning for over a decade. 1.2.3 In terms of political support within the Council, the District Chair Cllr Karen McCarthy and current Bournville Ward Councillors Tim Huxtable, Rob Sealy and Phillip Walking all attend the Community Stakeholders Group meetings and support the regeneration plans. Former local councillor Nigel Dawkins (2000-2012) championed the rescue of the Baths for 12 years whilst the previous political regime was in power. He arranged the well-attended open days in 2008 and 2011 for local people and heritage enthusiasts. Over 600 people queued around the Baths to have their chance to glimpse the pool area in 2011 during a two hour period; testament to the interest and city-wide importance of this historic building. 1.3 The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Strategic Aims are to:    Conserve the UK’s diverse heritage for present and future generations to experience and enjoy Help more people, and a wider range of people, to take an active part in, and make decisions about, their heritage Help people to learn about their own and other people’s heritage. HLF describe helping people to take an active part as Participation and suggest three ways in which this can be achieved:    Creating opportunities for people to volunteer Helping the community to take an active role in the project, including helping people to make decisions about the heritage Developing new and/or wider audiences for our heritage. In the context of ‘helping people to learn about the heritage’, which HLF describe as Learning, they consider this to involve offering everyone opportunities to develop 9 | Page
  11. 11. their understanding of heritage, in an active way, appropriate to their needs, interests and background. They suggest this may be achieved through:    Interpreting the heritage Creating opportunities for people to gain new, or increased, skills Holding events and activities to help the general public, or particular groups of people, to learn about the heritage. This outline Activity Plan sets out what we would like to achieve, which is not capital works or physical works to the heritage. 1.4 Aims and Objectives of the Activity Plan 1.4.1 There are many ways in which people can become involved with heritage sites like Stirchley Baths, as visitors, volunteers and in their management and governance. Research carried out for the Heritage Lottery Fund found that the following sectors are under-represented and excluded from visiting and involvement as volunteers in the heritage sector:      1.4.2 This Activity Plan will begin to identify barriers to participation at Stirchley Baths and suggest ways in which those barriers can be removed. Research shows that common barriers to visiting heritage sites can include:        1.4.3 Those below the age of 30 Ethnic minority groups Those on low incomes Those without access to transport facilities Those in lower socio-economic groups. User perceptions, particularly regarding relevance Lack of specific facilities Lack of information and awareness Poor physical access to the resource Poor physical access at the resource Limited intellectual access Management ethos. The main aims of this outline Activity Plan for Stirchley Baths are to:         Identify existing audiences (Community Centre) Identify the needs and expectations of users Identify the needs and expectations of non-users Identify target audiences Identify barriers to use Suggest ways those barriers can be removed Suggest ways to increase the number of visitors without damaging the significance of the site Suggest ways to improve the quality of the experience for visitors. 10 | P a g e
  12. 12. 1.4.4 Key objectives of the outline Activity Plan:        To encourage local residents to feel ownership of and pride in the Stirchley Baths Project To ensure the history and heritage of SB informs and plays a pivotal role in repurposing the building as a community facility To build strong local partnerships with existing community groups to support delivery of a programme of history and heritage-related activity To use heritage as a resource to develop new audiences to SB; to encourage wider local community use (beyond attending existing community centre classes or activities) and audiences from further afield Develop opportunities for local people to become actively engaged as volunteers and to learn new skills To highlight the significance of the Baths as a symbol of Stirchley’s Co-operative history and the relationship with industry and the community To create a valuable resource for education and life-long learning. 1.5 Preparing the Activity Plan 1.5.1 We have produced this Activity Plan by:       1.5.2 Regular meetings with the Stirchley Baths Community Stakeholders Group and Programming sub group Desk-based research Social media campaign Market research through focus group discussions with community groups in the local area Extensive public consultation with local residents through events Looking at existing best practice to formulate the actions. The research has sought to obtain an understanding of the following:  The site and its historical and cultural significance, especially for local people  Who are the existing users of Stirchley Community Centre and what are their views and opinions about the Baths  What are the views of local people (non-community centre users) about the Stirchley Baths and what would make them want to visit to find out about the heritage of the building  What can we do to break down the perceived (or real) barriers for people to engage with heritage learning  Which groups should we be targeting and why  What activities or proposals should we be introducing to engage with these groups in order to break down barriers and encourage them to take part in a ‘heritage experience’ at Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’. 1.6 Structure of the Report 1.6.1 The report structure is based on the HLF guidance note Planning Activities in Heritage Projects (2008): 11 | P a g e
  13. 13. In Section 1 Introduction and Context we looked at the significance of Stirchley Baths, aims of the HLF and of this Activity Plan. In Section 2 Where we are now? our focus is on our organisation, our audiences, activities and our current commitment to involving people. Section 3 Where do we want to be? looks at how we will involve people in the project, and the difference the project will make, and in Section 4 How do we intend to get there? we offer an Action Plan of work covering interpretation, volunteering, community engagement and Audience Development, learning, training and marketing. This will have a plan of deliverable goals over a three year period, year one beginning when the works do. Finally, in Section 5 Measures of success we outline ways in which we will evaluate our project. The purpose of this Activity Plan is to accompany Birmingham City Council’s round 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. 1.7 Abbreviations Used in the Report BCC BCT BAME SBCSG HDO HLF SB Birmingham City Council Birmingham Conservation Trust Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Stirchley Baths Community Stakeholder Group Heritage Development Officer Heritage Lottery Fund Stirchley Baths 12 | P a g e
  14. 14. The Current State of the Building 13 | P a g e
  15. 15. “Stirchley needs a heart and foundation stone to anchor itself around in order to thrive. The Baths can become an enabler and a reason for people to stop”. “When I was fifteen I used to go with a friend and we loved to dance, the boys were quite plentiful and we used to love it when you would get tagged. We liked the waltzes and quick steps. You can’t believe that you were dancing on top of what used to be the swimming pool […] The atmosphere was lovely, really lively, you’d have a good laugh. It was really great fun”. “I used to come there with my school and in holiday times and spend quite a lot of time there. (The scheme) looks promising for my children and myself. We can enjoy it as a family.” “You’ve got a bath, a wooden thing you came out the baths on to, a chair to put your clothes on, that was it. No frills. You sat in a wooden chair waiting for your turn”. “I think (moving Karate class to Stirchley Baths) may encourage more people to join us from the local community” […] I think moving to a building of that sort will generate interest, generate questions [..] I think there will be a nice ambience, and bring a bit of personality to the area that we’re training in”. “When the Baths became disused, we were concerned about the building and so I decided to get involved with it, because I am a resident. We want the best that it can be alternatively. In one sense, we are going to get rid of an eyesore, but also we are keeping a building which is listed. It’s going to be better than just a community centre.” Comments by local residents and stakeholders 14 | P a g e
  16. 16. 2. WHERE ARE WE NOW? 2.1 Condition of the Baths and Current Facilities 2.1.1 Stirchley Baths closed in 1988 and has since been stood empty, deteriorating rapidly in recent years. Much of the site has been open to the elements. Surprisingly many of the original features do remain and as part of the scheme can be salvaged and reused. Public access is no longer possible. The last open day, which had restricted access, was in 2011. 2.2 Current Users There are no current users of Stirchley Baths. Figures below show current users of Stirchley Community Centre and Stirchley Library to provide a realistic projection of visits. It is hoped that the current community user groups in the centre will transfer to Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ when it is opened. This will depend greatly on whether alternative accommodation can be found during the three-month period between the Community Centre closing and Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ opening. During our engagement with some of these user groups we learnt that although there is obvious concern and uncertainty about displacement during this period, the groups are all excited to be moving into a re-purposed historic building and the improved facilities this will bring. “It’s been looking a big eyesore for years now. Let’s hope it is a success because we’re looking forward to moving into there for our dances […] we are here most Tuesdays and we’ve been dancing here now for 22 years”. Ken Seeney, member of Stirchley Tea Dance at Stirchley Community Centre) (audio transcription, 2.2.2 Stirchley Community Centre and Library Visits Stirchley Community Centre Stirchley Library (for comparison) 2010-2011 15,108 2011-2012 18,316 37,400 (3166 active borrowers) 2012-2013 19,503 For the past three years there has been an annual increase in visits to the Community Centre, with an average of around 1,600 visits per month in the last 12 months. There will be a natural increase in visitors at SB due to the increased capacity for room hire, opportunities to host larger-scale events and a café which will be open during community centre opening times. The programme of heritage-related activity will also bring in additional numbers of people to the building through events, school visits, and ‘other reasons’ to visit the building due to the ‘heritage experience’ it has to offer. 15 | P a g e
  17. 17. 2.2.3 Profile of local residents Stirchley (B30 postcode) has a very mixed community in terms of income, tenure and age group. The MOSAIC Experian system of categorisation defines the majority of residents with a B30 postcode from the following groups:         Foot on the Ladder Type H36 Young single couples who have recently bought their first small house which consumes a large proportion of their income Global Fusion Type N60 Young working people living in metropolitan terraces from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds Production Manager Type F25 Middle income married couples owning unpretentious semi-detached housing Small Wage Owners Type M56 Owners living in inexpensive private terraces in a range of relatively low paid occupations Stressed Borrowers Type I41 Middle aged people renting or owning in council areas, many of whom are over stretched with debt Back to Back Basics Type N57 Young sharers and couples with young children starting out in low price, older terraces Meals on Wheels Type L52 Some of the oldest people in society who have reasonable pensions, living in accommodation where they receive appropriate care Settled Ex-Tenants Type I38 Older couples whose children have flown the nest in low skilled occupations living in ex-council housing. While MOSAIC classifies people using general categories rather than offers a bespoke population study, it does suggest that there will be a range of potential audiences to the SB community ‘hub’. A shared characteristic of all the ‘types’ identified above is low income. This should be reflected in any pricing strategies, especially for public third party events or performances. 2.2.4 Area and Neighbourhood Statistics Stirchley Baths is marked with a red dot (arrow) on the map below. The yellow shading highlights the defined Neighbourhood Area Birmingham 112b, the orange and yellow combined is the Super Output Area Middle Layer Birmingham 112. 16 | P a g e
  18. 18. Population:  According to the 2011 Census data there are 1,595 people living in the Stirchley Neighbourhood and 7,726 people living in the Area. Because the Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ will serve a wider community rather than a neighbourhood, the profile of potential users is based on the Super Output Area Middle Layer boundary. Age:    In 2011, The largest age group living in the Area is 30-44 (25.5%). This is higher than average compared to Birmingham (20.8%). The second largest age group is 45-59 (19%). Again this is higher than average compared to Birmingham as a whole (16.4%). 5.9% of residents are aged 15-19 which is lower than average compared to Birmingham (7.5%). Ethnicity:      In 2011, 85.7% of residents define themselves as white British, Irish or Other White. 4.1% of residents define themselves of mixed heritage. 6.1% of residents define themselves as Asian/Asian British, including Chinese. 3.6% of residents define themselves as Black/African/Caribbean/Black British. 0.6% of residents define themselves as Arab or from other ethnic groups. Stirchley and surrounding area has a predominantly white population. Around 1,600 individuals living in this Area define themselves as non-white British, and therefore BAME. Deprivation Indicators within the Area and Neighbourhood:    50% of the 3286 households in the Area are not deprived in any dimension5. 44% of households are deprived in 1 or 2 dimensions. 6% of households are deprived in 2 or 3 dimensions. Within the Neighbourhood in which SB is located the Living Environment Deprivation Indicator data from 2010 suggests that the area is amongst the most deprived in the country in this respect. 5 All households in the area at the time of the 2011 Census with one of the selected deprivation dimensions. The dimensions of deprivation are indicators based on the four selected household characteristics - Employment (any member of a household not a full-time student is either unemployed or long-term sick); Education (no person in the household has at least level 2 education, and no person aged 16-18 is a full-time student); Health and disability (any person in the household has general health 'bad or very bad' or has a long term health problem.); and Housing (Household's accommodation is either overcrowded, with an occupancy rating -1 or less, or is in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating). 17 | P a g e
  19. 19. Disability and long-term health problems:6   84% of residents in the Area do not have a long-term health problem or disability 8% of residents define their day-to-day activities limited a lot and 8% define their day-to-day activities as limited a little. Economic Activity:    3.9% of residents (aged 16-74) are Long-term Sick or Disabled Youth unemployment is below average for both Birmingham and the West Midlands The number of residents who are long-term unemployed is also below the average for the city and region at 1.6%. 2.2.5 What we can surmise from the community profiling above is that the largest potential audience group for the ‘heritage offer’ of Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ (based on statistics and MOSAIC Classification) is White, aged 30-59, employed but on a relatively low income, with or without children. They live in older terraced property which is characteristic of dwellings in the Stirchley area. However, the Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ will serve a wide variety of local residents from across the age spectrum; from cradle to the grave. 2.3 Current Activities and Volunteering 2.3.1 Local residents who sit on the Stirchley Baths Community Stakeholders Group (SBCSG) have been meeting quarterly since 2012. A sub-group of local people interested in the future programming activities for Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ are meeting monthly during this development phase in a voluntary capacity. The motivation to be involved for some of the group has been captured through audio on Future opportunities for further volunteering are outlined later in this document. 2.3.2 A ‘Friends of Stirchley Baths’ group was set up in 2011 by former councillor Nigel Dawkins. Ownership of the group has been retained and not shared. The Stirchley Baths Community Stakeholders Group has succeeded this group as a supporters group for the SB project. 2.3.3 During this development phase volunteers from Birmingham Conservation Trust, the SBCSG and a local student writing her dissertation on Stirchley Baths, have supported a series of community events. These have included two ‘Splash Back in Time’ events and ‘Put Your Hand Up Community Art Challenge’ event. A passing local resident also offered his help on an event day and has since expressed an interest in further local volunteering opportunities. Alongside event support, a small group of volunteers have interviewed residents and taken photographs to be used on and related social media sites. 2.3.4 Social media company Podnosh was commissioned during this development phase to set up a dedicated Stirchley Baths website/blog along with related social media; 6 All people usually resident in the area at the time of the 2011 Census with a health problem or disability that had lasted, or was expected to last, at least 12 months, and limited daily activities a lot. This includes problems related to old age. 18 | P a g e
  20. 20. twitter and facebook. Podnosh have provided the staff resource to create a highly relevant and interesting social commentary through interviews and reminiscence sessions with stakeholders and local residents. We have also reported on community engagement activity in the preparation of this Activity Plan. This social media campaign has really generated interest in a short space of time for the project and provided an effective vehicle to engage people in the development process. At the time of writing this document has been live for 10 weeks and had 1023 different people visiting the website. They visited 1844 times and looked at 4437 pages. Statistics show that 52% of visits were from the UK, and of those visits 58% were from Birmingham. This equates to 556 visits from people in the Birmingham area. At the time of writing @StirchleyBaths had 245 followers on Twitter and 69 people who ‘Like’ the facebook page. The average reach is around 200 people, although some weeks have seen 640, 609, 488 and 433 people updated and informed about the SB project. Conscious of the fact that not everyone has access to a computer, we have placed hard copy printouts of the blog posts in both Stirchley Library and Stirchley Community Centre for people to read. 2.3.5 Place Prospectors were commissioned to create a temporary, participatory artwork linked to the development of the project. They ran an event called Sink or Swim on 8 June which involved over 200 local residents who came to pledge their support to the community ‘hub’ once it is restored. 2.4 Current Commitment to Involving People Birmingham City Council has a robust Equal Opportunities Policy and staff are committed to providing a welcome for all members of the local communities as well as visitors. Indeed the sign at the entrance to the current Community Centre and Indoor Bowls Centre says: “This centre welcomes people from all sections of the community”. “I would say (The Community Centre) it’s at the heart of it, it’s extending from the heart, it’s over flowing the heart. There are so many different sections of the community within Stirchley area and I think we represent almost everyone one”. (Sue Jackson, Community Development and Initiatives Worker, Stirchley Community Centre. Audio transcription, 19 | P a g e
  21. 21. 2.5 Community Consultation 2.5.1 There has already been significant community consultation and ongoing engagement in the Selly Oak District in the development of the SB proposals, in particular around the design of the scheme. Architect Mark Sloane from Acivico said: “The interesting thing about this project is the community engagement. We’ve been to so many public meetings and I don’t think we have ever had a scheme which has had so much, and so many people wanting to know what is going on. The amount of people who have turned up at the forums and public meetings we’ve had has been incredible really”. (Audio transcription, The focus of our consultation work for this report is on heritage-related activity, learning and participation. 2.5.2 We have engaged over 870 people of all ages and backgrounds in the consultation process to help us develop this Activity Plan. See Appendix A for a list of consultees and participation events and numbers. Community engagement with the project is on-going. This also included the Sink or Swim event which was delivered by Place Prospectors as part of this development phase. 2.5.3 We have employed a variety of methodologies to engage with people and develop this work. These have included:         A stall at Stirchley Community Market Public ‘Community Art Challenge’ event at Stirchley Library and outside SB 2 reminiscence ‘Splash Back in Time’ events Face to face interviews Displays at Stirchley Library, Stirchley Community Centre, District Office (with opportunity for public comment), St Andrews Healthcare (for Adult Learners Week) Presentations and focus group work with: o Stirchley Baths Community Stakeholders Group o Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum o Stirchley ‘Detached’ Youth project o Parents and Toddler Groups (including Community Centre user group and ‘Story Tots’ at Stirchley Library) o Parents of children who attend Arabic lessons (Community Centre user group) o Members of Stirchley Stitchers (Community Centre user group) o Patients in the mental health recovery forum at St Andrews Healthcare, Stirchley o School Council representatives at Stirchley Community School o Junior Assembly at St Edwards Catholic Primary School o DeafPLUS o Friends of Stirchley Park Consultation exercise with heritage enthusiasts at Coffin Works tours run by Birmingham Conservation Trust Social media campaign 20 | P a g e
  22. 22. We have also been raising awareness through promotional material including flyers at the Love Stirchley More Festival in February, a poster campaign in shops along Pershore Road and letters were sent home with 600 pupils from the two closest primary schools. During this engagement process, people were asked to contribute an idea on a history and heritage-related activity they would be interested in, a memory, a comment or a statement of support for the project. The majority of these were written on people’s own (decorated) handprints. These were gathered during some focus groups, at presentations, at Stirchley Community Market and at a public event on 6 April at which a total of 282 hands were pegged around the outside of SB in a visual display – a show of hands – to support the Stirchley Baths Project. 2.6 Competitor Analysis and Potential Partners 2.6.1 There are a few other publically accessible listed heritage buildings in the immediate local area: They are:    Stirchley Library (Grade II) The British Oak Public House (Grade II) Men’s Pavilion (Bournville Club) (Grade II). 2.6.2 None of these building interpret their heritage or run heritage-focussed activities. As such, there is little competition to the ‘heritage experience’ that SB proposes. Indeed, the activity programme at SB may be a catalyst for owners of other locally historic buildings to interpret their properties. 2.6.3 Stirchley Library is a neighbouring building also managed by Selly Oak District. There are opportunities to work in partnership with Stirchley Library on heritage events and initiatives as well as on a practical level. For example, installing a book returns box when they are closed and running library events within SB. 2.6.4 Behind the library is Stirchley Park which is often referred to as ‘Stirchley’s best kept secret’ and the ‘hidden park’, something the Friends of Stirchley Park are working hard to change. The Friends was set up about 12 months ago and runs small family and environmental events and well as making improvements to the park. They are keen to work with SB on collaborative events and activities in the future. 2.6.5 The Co-operative owns the locally listed Friends Meeting House which neighbours SB to the right. This semi-derelict building has stood empty for a number of years and is boarded up. There are no plans currently to redevelop the site or bring it back into use. 21 | P a g e
  23. 23. 2.6.6 In terms of local partnerships there is already a growing cultural offer within the area and SB would seek to develop collaborations in order to develop its three year (and beyond) programme of heritage-related activity. Please see section 3.8 for further details on partnerships and collaborations. Local groups include: Stirchley Happenings, a local resident-led arts group who run the popular ‘Travelling Bug House’ pop-up film nights in unusual buildings around the area. The group also includes a founding member of Stirchley Community Market. Place Prospectors, a CIC, have been involved in a number of community initiatives over the last few years and are currently working alongside BCC to develop ideas for legacies for the Stirchley Baths Project. Previously they have worked with local residents and businesses to deliver a series of arts and heritage projects which have looked to Stirchley’s past as a way to focus on and address issues within future regeneration. These include Stirchley Prospects, Love Stirchley and Love Stirchley More. They also delivered a short term project called Sink or Swim to support the development of the Baths Project. Artsoak is an annual arts event run by the Selly Oak District Arts Forum across the Selly Oak District. In 2012 and 2013 this has involved collaborations with Stirchley Happenings and St Andrew’s Healthcare. The SB project can contribute to this annual event through participatory arts activities to interpret aspects of the history of the building. Currently the arts champion for the area is City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and Stirchley Baths Community ‘hub’ could be potentially their new home. Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum, which has been acknowledged within the District for their good work, has a membership of residents with a keen interest in local history. They have expressed an interest in working with the SB Project to set up a local history group and create a publically accessible resource of local history, including community history and an oral history archive. Currently information about the history of the area is provided on 6 historical information panels located within walking distance of each other, and in a handful of pamphlets in Stirchley Library. Images of Stirchley are found in an old publication by Linda Chew and a few historic images are found on The Stirchley Urban Resource Network was set up in 2012 and is designed as a virtual space to support Stirchley’s businesses and residents. The network is made up of people and organisations, and exists to empower people to take part in Stirchley’s future; to promote Stirchley’s unique identity and generate opportunities for the area. This network could become an important mechanism to promote volunteering opportunities at Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ and share resources for the benefit of the community. 2.6.7 The SB project also has the opportunity, especially during the first year of construction work, to support the neighbouring community buildings through room hire and collaborative activities. This includes the TASCOs (social club) building on the edge of the new Tesco development. Although recently closed at the time of writing, a group of local residents are looking at ways to bring the building back into use. Opposite SB is the former Hazelwell Street institute which is now home to Stirchley Community Church who have large rooms and performance space for hire. 22 | P a g e
  24. 24. 2.6.8 Birmingham Adult Education Service also complements the cultural offer locally, running a wide range of arts & crafts courses within the Selly Oak District. They have expressed an interest in running an adult education programme at the Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ in the future. 2.6.9 We have learnt, through the engagement process for the SB project, that during the last few years Stirchley has begun to develop its own community strategies towards change, programmes of engagement activities around the Arts and a sense of cooperation; the Stirchley Community Market and Stirchley Stores cooperative, alongside the increased presence of grassroots organisations and networks (outlined above) are evidence of this. The learning and participation aims of the SB Project will provide further opportunities for local people to get involved in cherishing and championing its heritage buildings and creating resources so people can learn about the past, including Stirchley Baths. There is already a strong local network of groups and people who can support delivery of these learning and participation objectives, in particular through creativity and the Arts, which can also enhance their own programmes. Selly Oak District is currently piloting for the city the notion of being a ‘cooperative district’ which promotes cooperative working and collaboration. 2.7 Non-user/Potential-user Research and Opportunities 2.7.1 Stirchley Community Centre already serves a diverse community with a wide range of regular weekly activities including daily Arabic lessons, a weekly Tea dance and Pentecostal church service, sewing groups and parent and toddler groups which meet three times a week, and a range of sports groups. The full activity programme is in Appendix B. An estimated 19,503 visits to Stirchley Community Centre were recorded in 2012/13. This is an increase on previous years. 2.7.2 The primary motivation to visit the Community Centre is for classes, organised group activity and room hire for parties and events. There is no ‘heritage offer’ or public café facilities to attract other users into the building. There is the potential to reach new non-community centre users at SB with an interesting programme of events, some of which will have an historical focus, and a nice café. The improved facilities will provide spaces for local people to meet each other, socialise and bring their family and friends to. 2.7.3 Consultation on the SB Project during the Coffin Works public tours, organised by Birmingham Conservation Trust, highlighted the attraction of heritage enthusiasts to this type of heritage building; especially the conservation story. It is interesting that a high number of visits to were from outside the UK, which again suggests that interest in this building extends to a much wider community of people interested in the history of the site. With the programming of special events, a continued online presence and a much developed historical resource, the ‘heritage experience’ provided by SB far extends the local area physical boundaries. 2.7.4 The missing user groups identified by Community Workers at the Community Centre are young people aged 11-14 and 15-19. Activity for young people, or lack of, is something that has been highlighted on a number of occasions during the preparation for this report. According to the 2011 Census there were 878 young people aged between 10 and 19 living in the Area (see 2.2.5). The structure of statutory youth provision within Birmingham is undergoing a period of change. The new ‘youth hubs’ based at Maypole and Longbridge are a bus and train ride away for young people in Stirchley and the local well-used youth house (The Den) is being closed down as part of this new structure. There are other youth 23 | P a g e
  25. 25. clubs run locally by the Scouts and Community Church. BCC youth workers, who support young people, mainly from around the Pineapple Estate in Stirchley, are concerned that the changes, including in staffing, means the creation of a huge void. We involved eighteen of these young people in our consultation and together worked on some intergenerational project ideas to provide focussed sessions for young people at Stirchley Baths Community ‘hub’ during a three-year programme of activity. 2.8 Barriers to Involvement 2.8.1 Discussions with stakeholders and community members on physical barriers to access concentrated on the redevelopment plans for the site, rather than the current condition of the building. The plans were approved by BCC Planning Committee on 21st March 2013. Recommendations for access into the building have been considered previously in the development of the scheme and reflect community consultation. As a result only a few physical barriers were identified within the consultation for this piece of work. The approved scheme will provide ramped access into the building which will operate on a single ground floor level. Physical access via the car park remains a contentious issue for some people as both pedestrians and vehicles will use the same access routes. However, this is the only viable option available. 2.8.2 Individuals found it challenging to imagine or perceive any future barriers from a 2D architect’s drawings rather than a personal experience of the building. Many older Community Centre users said all they wanted was nice toilets and daylight. Young people were concerned about cost and if they would know anyone; they wouldn’t go into the building if they were not with their friends. 2.8.3 Current Community Centre users understandably feel anxious about what will happen to their group for the interim period between the Community Centre closing on 31st March 2014 and completion of building works at Stirchley Baths which are expected to be around October 2014 if funding is successful. Selly Oak District are aware of this and working hard to find a solution (as they had done previously before delays in the Tesco development), but the displacement of groups may mean that groups will not relocate and this may present a barrier to the future involvement of some communities. 2.8.4 Other barriers to involvement and recommendations to overcome barriers in relation to target audiences will be identified in section 3.4. 24 | P a g e
  26. 26. Focus Group Work 25 | P a g e
  27. 27. “Fond memories of taking my toddler swimming at Stirchley Baths 28 years ago. So pleased it will have a new lease of life in the near future”. “Save Stirchley Baths 4 me”. “Keeping the community at heart! Long live the spirit of Stirchley Baths”. “A centre for Stirchley Community! Bringing people together and improving the area! “Stirchley Baths. The 1st step in regenerating Stirchley”. “It is such a beautiful building and will make such a difference to the community once restored!” “Let’s not let another piece for our heritage go to waste!! “Let’s preserve this piece of heritage. We do not want to lose lovely buildings like this”. “Been living in Stirchley for 13 years and this beautiful building has been unused for so long. I’d love for it to be a place for the community, used and loved again”. Comments by local residents 26 | P a g e
  28. 28. 3 WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? 3.1 Our Aspirations The aspiration for both Selly Oak District and end users is to ensure the survival of the Grade II listed former Stirchley Baths building by restoring and refurbishing the historic fabric and repurposing the building as a multi-purpose community facility. As an 'urban village hall’ at the heart of the community it will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the local area. 3.2 Our Target Audiences 3.2.1 In our consultations almost all the people we spoke to knew of the building and had passed by on many occasions. They often commented on the current condition of the building, expressed sadness and a sense of loss; and if they were old enough, shared a memory or two about using Stirchley Baths in the past. First and foremost the Baths will serve the local Stirchley community as well as people from Selly Park, Cotteridge and Bournville. It is hoped that groups who currently use the Community Centre will relocate on completion of building works. SB also has the potential to reach a wider audience; local residents who are non-community centre users may be attracted by a programme of ‘heritage related’ events. The new café facility, with the potential for temporary exhibition space, the increased physical space and brand new ‘interior conservatory’ area with roof lanterns will also draw in new audiences. The building’s heritage offer will also create reasons for heritage enthusiasts from across the city to visit, as well as school groups who want to study a local resource. 3.2.2 We have identified out target audiences as: a) Current Stirchley Community Centre Users The current users of Stirchley Community Centre are diverse in ethnicity and age; the centre serves children and their parents through play schemes and parent and toddler groups; older residents through sewing clubs and dances; faith groups through church services or Arabic lessons; individuals through sporting activity. On relocation to SB, their purpose for visiting will be the same as before, but these current user groups also become a target audience for history and heritage-related activity. There were an estimated 19,503 recorded visits to Stirchley Community Centre in 2012/13 and an estimated 37,400 visits in 11/12 to Stirchley Library next door. This tells us that there will be a large audience indirectly experiencing the heritage of the Baths, even though the primary motivation to visit might be something entirely different. b) Local residents (non-community centre users) Local residents from Stirchley, Bournville, Selly Park, Cotteridge and surrounding communities (including ‘harder to reach’ groups) who do not currently attend the Community Centre for classes or activities may be attracted to the new facility; for its improved room hire and its café. A changing events programme outside its regular user groups and mixed-use spaces will encourage repeat visits from local people. c) School children Local schools within walking distance will be particularly interested in taking year groups to Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ if facilitated sessions by an ‘expert’ are 27 | P a g e
  29. 29. offered. Realistically, as a busy centre with income generation targets, the school programme will be small, but provide a vital resource for teaching on local studies, history, geography and citizenship for primary school children within a 0-2 mile radius. A WWII package will attract both primary and secondary schools from further afield. d) Young people We identified earlier the projected lack of statutory youth provision in the area over the next few years. SB provides the opportunity for young people from Stirchley, Selly Park, Bournville and Cotteridge to get involved, learn new skills and volunteer during the three-year funded programme of activity, and after. Heritage may be a secondary driver for young people to participate, but heritage can also be a strong enabler. This group are a ‘missing’ audience for many heritage buildings. Making SB relevant to this age group is vital for engagement. e) Informal learning and heritage enthusiasts Within this group there will be:  day visitors from families looking for ‘hands on’ activities and visitor facilities during weekend and school holidays. These may hail from across the city  empty nesters, over 65, interest and affinity groups such as the WI, U3A and curious minds (older couples). ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘hard hat’ tours during the restoration are expected to be popular with this audience group. BCC’s Adult Education Service is proposing to run courses from SB, to hire rooms and extend its service into Stirchley. This will bring a new audience to SB, including those on ESOL courses. It is hoped that a bespoke local history course could be developed within the three-year funded programme of activity and delivered by PETAL (Preparation for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector) trained volunteers. f) Volunteers BCC staff carried out a Survey of Leisure and Use of Stirchley Community Centre at the Cotteridge Park Play Day 6th August 2009. Although a small sample, 7 out of 31 respondents indicated they would be interested in volunteering at the community centre; in the roles of fundraisers, play scheme workers and as advisors. BCC currently works directly with some volunteers through play schemes and other activities at the centre. Many of the community group activities and clubs hosted there are run by volunteers. The SB Project will present many opportunities to engage with volunteers from different age groups and ethnicities, mainly sourced from the local community. After the three-year programme of HLF-funded activity there will be a culture of volunteering at SB which can developed further by BCC or whomever takes on the long-term management of the building. The SB project is particularly interested in targeting people with skills to run events, document the restoration, extend a friendly welcome and share historical knowledge of the building with visitors. Volunteers could support the running of education, events and outreach programmes, tour guiding, community ambassador programmes and heritage interpretation. See V:1 (Action Plan). 28 | P a g e
  30. 30. Within each of these target audiences above there will be:    first time visitors repeat visitors people with a range of access needs. 3.2.3 The successful delivery of BCC’s learning and participation objectives for the HLF funded Stirchley Baths Project are dependent on additional staff resource being made available. The commission of a part-time Heritage Development Officer (HDO) was identified in BCC’s Round 1 Application to the HLF. This continues to be a recommendation. However, the job description has been revised to reflect the skills and experience required to manage delivery of the action plan outlined in this document. The revised job description is in Appendix C. 3.2.4 Visitor Projections Visitor numbers at Stirchley Baths Community ‘hub’ will reflect:      The usual uptake of ‘Community Centre’ activities and room bookings The curiosity of local residents (non-community centre users) who want to look inside their local iconic building after restoration The quality of the ‘heritage offer’ or heritage-related events programme to attract visitors from outside the area The increased booking of the rooms for private events and functions The popularity of a new café and family-friendly facilities. It would not be unreasonable to predict the following number of visits starting from Year 2 (late 2014). These have been broken down into regular community centre users (‘experiencing’ the heritage) and visits generated during the three-years of HLF funding by specific heritage-related activity and events: * Y1 n/a (3,800 – specific heritage-related activity and events) * Y2 19,000 (plus 3,465 – specific heritage-related activity and events) * Y3 20,000 (plus 3,900 – specific heritage-related activity and events) * Y4 21,000 * Y5 22,000 The figures above are based on visits. See 3.2.5 for breakdown. Many people will be repeat visitors. 3.2.5 Engagement Targets of the Activity Plan Taking into account that the primary function of the Stirchley Baths Community ‘Hub’ will be a community centre with a full programme of community activity, the targets we have set ourselves for engaging people with the heritage of the building and the project are realistic. While recognising that all visitors to the building will have an ‘experience’ of the Bath’s heritage of some kind, the support to start a programme of heritage-related events and activity will offer both community centre users and target audiences the 29 | P a g e
  31. 31. opportunity to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Bath’s history and to get involved in a range of participatory activities where they can have engaging and interactive experiences, learn new skills, and for some people give something back to their community. The following table outlines our projected numeric engagement targets over the three-year period based on successful project delivery. Details of this activity and associated visitor or audience numbers are found in the Action Plan per activity. Yr1 Yr2 Yr3 Total To engage 39,000 community ‘hub’ visitors in ‘heritage experiences’ at the Baths through on-site interpretation. Many will be repeat visits To engage 55 people through volunteering n/a 19,000 20,000 39,000 20 25 10 55 To engage 65 young people and students through project work and work placements To engage 5380 people through events, exhibitions, open days and tours To engage 4,500 unique visitors who access the project via the website To engage 1015 school children through on-site visits, loans boxes and resources To engage 150 local BAME individuals through events, open days and tours 25 20 20 65 2550 1520 1310 5380 1000 1500 2000 4500 165 350 500 1015 30 50 60 140 50,155 You will note that visit numbers to events, exhibitions, open days and tours do not show incremental growth from years 1-3 in the table above. This is due to activity programming. The number of new volunteers reflects the opportunities associated with larger events and their programming within the three-year period. The delivery of these targets is dependent on the type and number of people who come forward to participate. As such, delivery will need to be flexible and innovative to adapt to this and achieve the targets set out above. A key issue is how do we count visitors? Visitors to the café or who are wandering around the building to have a look at the history need to be captured as well as those enrolled on regular classes or group activity and at special heritage related events. Asking non-regular visitors to sign in on entry is one option being considered. Visitors reached through social media should also be counted and appropriate mechanisms to count history-related pages should be built into the website design. 3.3 Marketing: Reaching New Audiences We would suggest that a strategy for building audiences to the ‘heritage offer’ of Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ is targeted at users and non-community centre users, local residents and city-wide heritage enthusiasts. It should use the following media:  Existing social media, Facebook, Twitter: @stirchleybaths and @sellyoakdistrict  Existing on-line networks and related social media including: 30 | P a g e
  32. 32. o o o o o o o o o  Visit Birmingham website  Lifford Lane Business Association  Local press coverage (editorial) including radio and television throughout stages of restoration  Posters distributed around local community venues in Stirchley, Selly Park, Kings Norton, Cotteridge, Selly Oak and Kings Heath (including libraries, faith buildings, coffee shops etc) and Stirchley Baths Community ‘hub’  Posters and emails to named contact at St Andrews Healthcare  Birmingham City Council Tourism promotional literature (for special heritage events)  School newsletters. Attending school fetes and events to raise awareness  Stalls and displays at community events and festivals; Hazelwell Park Fun Day, Cocomad, Love Stirchley, ArtsOak are some examples. 3.4 Actions to Remove Barriers for Target Audiences 3.4.1 Community consultations in relation to the development of this Activity Plan took place between 12 February and 21 May 2013. This was part of the on-going engagement around the SB Project. As part of this research local residents and people from ‘harder to reach’ groups were asked to identify the challenges and concerns they had or perceived in relation to visiting Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’, both as a building and as a place to experience its heritage. 3.4.2 Recommendations on how to overcome barriers are also included in the table below. 31 | P a g e
  33. 33. Barrier identified Access routes in and out of the car park will be used by both cars and pedestrians which might cause anxiety Type of Barrier Physical Barrier for Wheelchair users Families, lone parents with pushchairs Recommendation to overcome barrier Guidance on parking on website, including current options to park on the road in front of the library. Monitoring system to be put in place and BCC to seek visitor feedback Application to create Blue Badge parking on Bournville Lane Due to the state of the building any ‘hard hat’ tours will not be physically accessible for some people before building improvements have been made Difficulty crossing over Hazelwell Street to Baths; busy traffic, no traffic lights or crossing. “local area is important if you are physically disabled.” Being able to get to publically accessible spaces is as important as getting into them. Visitors not feeling welcome or poor customer service Physical Wheelchair users, people with limited mobility, hearing and sight impairments Capture the conservation work during 12 month build through films, photo shoots and interviews with contractors in a range of formats (audio, written, film with text). Organise a BSL interpreted talk for BSL users near the end of the build Physical Wheelchair users, people with limited mobility, and sight impairments Traffic lights on Hazelwell Street to enable people time to get across the road to the Baths Social Disabled people Patients at St Andrews Healthcare Disability Awareness training for all volunteers (and staff if not available through the city council) BCC has a policy and duty towards equality and BCC community centre staff will be fully trained Partnership working on arts projects and display at Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’, volunteering opportunities, breaking down the stigma of mental health 32 | P a g e
  34. 34. Barrier identified Not knowing what to expect – what is access really like? Type of Barrier Physical Barrier for Disabled people Recommendation to overcome barrier Good web information available. Leaflet to pick up to include access information. E.g. what is the width of the disabled toilets, what happens if I were to pull the pull cord? Who will come? Are staff trained? Where can I park? Capacity building through colleges and youth clubs. Activities aimed at younger people and organised by them Interpret cultural links (segregation in swimming etc) that are relevant today for young people (for Muslim girls in particular) Feeling accepted and welcome “I wouldn’t come without my friends or peers” “Would want to know who goes and who runs it” “It’s not relevant or interesting. Don’t like history” Perception that they won’t enjoy it Mixed attendance at events Social/Cultural Young people BME groups – cultural differences Cultural Young people Competitions and quizzes Partnership with local college and youth clubs Plenty of activity to participate in Cultural Promote ladies only talks and activities and women only ‘social’ sessions based on heritage Older Muslim women are not café users, internet users. They would drop kids off and go home, wouldn’t necessarily come to events about history, but would look at pictures on the walls in foyer Social Women, especially Muslim women Older Muslim women Less able to access the available interpretation Intellectual Deaf people and people who are ‘hard of hearing’ Work with Deaf organisations to organise and promote bespoke BSL interpreted group tour on special heritage event days. Use BSL interpretation on web films, accessible also from computers at the centre. Subtitles on film, and clear, accessible text to be used in interpretation Hearing loop fitted Have display or historical information in the foyer area to engage with people as they come to the door 33 | P a g e
  35. 35. Barrier identified Less able to understand the available interpretation Type of Barrier Intellectual Barrier for People with learning disabilities Not able to access written interpretation Physical People with visual impairments Less able to understand the available interpretation Intellectual/ cultural People who do not speak English Limited public access to the history (because of community centre use of rooms). Not enough staff to show public round the Baths on a regular basis School visits and education activities disrupting regular user activities Organisational Public Organisational Schools Cost of school visit Financial Schools and parents Cost of heritage related activity Financial Public Young people Recommendation to overcome barrier Make heritage experience at Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ special through practical activity (looking for clues around the building), hands on experience, role play including dressing up and experienced tour guide volunteers on heritage event days Trained front of house staff and volunteers to offer assistance to guide a VIP. Tour guides trained to give good audio description as they conduct tours around the building on special heritage event days Provide translations of important information / headlines and key messages in Bengali, Urdu and Arabic for non-English speaking visitors (many of whom will be from the local community). Recruit volunteers with community language skills to deliver pre-arranged community language interpreted tours and talks Schedule and promote twilight or weekend tours once a month to avoid clash with programming of regular user groups. A dedicated heritage slot will ensure the programme is manageable and deliverable Lots of school visits are not going to be possible due to the programming of the community centre. Suggest four dedicated slots a month / once a week (initially) as provision for school visits where they have access to the main hall to take part in an interactive and facilitated activity led by the HDO and team of education volunteers Keep costs low (£2 per head for facilitated session on site) Create a workshop/loans box that can also be used in the classroom and with multiple groups Much of the heritage interpretation can be made available to visitors and those entering the building free of charge Any pricing strategy for events or additional activities should be reasonable to ensure local communities are not excluded Annual participation in Heritage Open Days and other free community open days 34 | P a g e
  36. 36. Barrier identified Not enough staff or volunteers to run facilitated school sessions or public tours programme Motivation of teachers and the impact on teacher workload Type of Barrier Organisational Barrier for Schools Public Recommendation to overcome barrier Recruit, train and retain pool of volunteers who can make this activity happen Organisational Teachers Provide familiarisation visits, high quality learning resources supporting school based curriculum The fear of accidents and the possibility of litigation Organisational Teachers No capacity in volunteer programme to support volunteers and the delivery of public access programmes Organisational/ Social Volunteers Local community Make learning at SB special through practical activity, hands on experience, role play including dressing up and experienced education facilitators Provide risk assessment template to help with their planning, pre-visit advice and familiarisation visits. BCC has public liability insurance and building risk assessments will be in place prior to opening Provide volunteer training budget. Recruit a HDO with experience in all areas of delivery, including volunteer management 35 | P a g e
  37. 37. 3.4.3 Recommendations for breaking down barriers:   Provide detailed access information on the web and in a leaflet so visitors, especially Disabled visitors, can plan their visit.  Asian people are regular visitors to Stirchley Community Centre, especially from the Bengali community. There is a Muslim women’s group who meet for Arabic lessons every Tuesday. English is not the first language of some of the older ladies, but they expressed interest in interpreted talks and activity. We would suggest working with members of the local Asian community to provide translations of important information / headlines and key messages in Bengali, Urdu and Arabic when interpreting the site. Recruit volunteers with community language skills to deliver prearranged community language interpreted tours and work as ambassadors within their communities.  The marketing strategy for SB’s heritage events and activities should include promotion to community organisations, local cafés, faith groups, youth groups, libraries and other grassroots venues. Marketing to a Deaf audience can be done through the city’s Deaf support groups such as DeafPLUS and BID Cultural Deaf Centre.  Creating curriculum-based resources and loans boxes may help overcome the financial barriers associated with learning outside the classroom.  Project-based work with young people from Stirchley and surrounding areas will give SB the opportunity to explore ways to encourage visits from this audience group and review and enhance the activities and events on offer. This might involve some pilot work; working with a group of young volunteers to create a quiz or competition suitable for and aimed at other young people. This will lead on to other projects such as working on an intergenerational project inspired by the Stirchley Baths Ballroom or painting a mural depicting the history of Stirchley and the Baths in the neighbouring park.  3.5 A varied programme of history and heritage-related events will attract local residents and visitors to SB from across Birmingham. Working with other local cultural organisations such as Stirchley Happenings, Selly Oak District Arts Forum, Place Prospectors and Friends groups (parks) to ensure cross promotion and avoiding event clashes. This will help SB integrate into the local cultural and leisure offer of the area, as well as help build, rather than divide, local audiences. A named contact for all heritage-related event activity (preferably the Heritage Development Officer), with an office base at Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’. This will enable the Officer to have a greater visible presence within the community, than they would if based at the council offices. Aims for Activities During consultation and engagement events, local people made suggestions on activities and uses for the building which were not related to heritage. These included; music concerts, local food markets, sports, film night, arts and crafts workshops, old style music hall, holiday scheme, and a ‘hot desk’ for independent local businesses to use. 36 | P a g e
  38. 38. These ideas and suggestions have been passed on to BCC and the programming sub group of the SBCSG. All written responses which have been collected, the majority written on ‘hands’ are included in Appendix D. The activities outlined below and in the Action Plan are sub-divided to cover the following areas:      Interpretation Volunteering Community Engagement and Audience Development Learning – school groups and families Training 3.6 Recommendations (targets) for Participation and Learning 3.6.1 In recommending activities to meet BCC’s learning and participation objectives for the Stirchley Baths project, timescale, available space and regular ‘user group’ programming need to be taken into consideration to ensure that heritage activity enhances the programme offered by the community centre, rather than clashes with it and vice versa. It is important that the project provides opportunities to build new audiences to the new community facility through its heritage ‘offer’ but also increases the enjoyment and understanding of visitors to the building who come to partake in a non-heritage organised group activity, class or function. 3.6.2 Recommendations; Capital works on-site Interpretation We have produced an Interpretative Proposal alongside this Activity Plan which recommends physical interpretation at the building (See Stirchley Baths Interpretation Proposal, written by Birmingham Conservation Trust). The two main principles which have guided the plan are: 1. To take a ‘light touch’ approach to in situ interpretation materials. Stirchley Baths has many stories to tell and to a considerable extent the building will speak for itself. Our aim is to provide interpretation materials that will enhance or further illustrate these stories, or will lead users of the building to stories that they may not have been aware of. We will aim to provoke interest and enquiry, and also point the way to where the curious may discover more. We will do this mainly through the use of photographs and enlarged facsimiles of original documents, with little or no explanatory text. 2. To use, wherever possible, the words of members of the community to provide interpretation. The interviews conducted as part of the extensive community engagement exercise provide a rich source of quotations and memories. We intend that short extracts from these are dotted about in unusual places on the walls (not where it has been possible to retain the original tiles). Example: “There was no hot water in our house and it was a lot easier using the baths at Stirchley than getting the tin one out at home.” Again, the amount of information contained in this short quotation is huge. It is much more engaging and thought provoking than a piece of descriptive text on an information panel describing why ‘slipper baths’ were provided and popular. 37 | P a g e
  39. 39. 3.6.3 Recommendations; Interpretation through participation To enhance the physical interpretation provided through the capital works budget, the recommendation is to involve and engage local people as participants in project work, through tours and talks, and interactive activities to create their own interpretations of the Baths’ heritage and wider Stirchley history and share this with a wider audience through a range of different media, including a digital output. During year one recommended activity has already been discussed with the appointed building contractor Mansells. The following recommendations for Interpretation (I) also meet BCC’s learning and participation aims for the HLF-funded project: I:1 The after-school Film Production Club at Stirchley Community School have expressed an interest in making regular monthly updates on the restoration project to post on as well as on their own school website. Stirchley Happenings will show their film night audiences the films. This will reach a wide audience. (Digital Output). I:2 Work with a new Stirchley Local History Group (set up for the benefit, and lasting legacy, of the project) to produce an illustrated glossy leaflet about the historic importance of the Baths. This content can be also used on (Digital Output). For example, the research and leaflet could follow four themes: The Public Baths, The World Wars, Leisure, Health and Fitness, and Closure, Campaign and Community. This would be part information/part promotion for community centre room hire, and available in the café as well as community venues. I:3 Year one. Special by invitation 'hard hat’ tours for current community centre users and other local groups to help them feel part of the project/process (programme for March, April, May, July, August, October when there are no public tours. These tours could be monthly depending on the stage of the build and will be delivered by the contractor Mansells. I:4 Year one. Special heritage event days: public ‘hard hat’ tours during Architecture Week (June) and the annual Heritage Open Days event (September). Participation will depend on how accessible the building is during conservation works. Years two-three. Programme monthly pre-bookable public tour around the Baths (15 max group size) to be led by volunteer guides. This would fit in the dedicated monthly provision. I:5 I:6 Work in partnership with new Stirchley Local History Group to design a local history 'living' display for exhibit within the Baths building which changes regularly as research progresses and new images are located. 38 | P a g e
  40. 40. I:7 Two public talks by Steve Beauchampé, local expert on the history of Edwardian Baths in Birmingham. One talk could be aimed at local people whose first language is not English (with Bengali and Urdu interpreters. This may be a women's only session to maximise numbers), the other talk for general audiences; both local and from further afield. This may tie in with a special event day. I:8 Work with a professional film maker and local residents (all ages and backgrounds) to produce a film about Stirchley; past, present and future (featuring the Baths at various stages in its life), but also narrating the changes in landscape and history of the community over time. Volunteers can learn film-making and interviewing techniques as well as appear on camera. This could be timed to capture the demolition of buildings on the new development site and building of the new Tesco store, as well as the restoration of the Baths. The historic landscape of the area will never look the same again! Also see V:5 (Digital Output). I:9 Develop an interactive, immersive story-telling session for children aged 2-5 and their parents on the history of the building and its uses through characters, soundscape (period music, traffic and factory sounds and voice recordings), costumes (flat caps) and other props. This will also include a craft session which children will use to deliver a story. For delivery on-site as part of Parent and Toddler Group activity at SB, at Stirchley Library, and on heritage event days. To deliver 11 hour sessions over 3 years. The box of props developed can also be used on site during facilitated school visits. Also See L:1 (KS 1 pupils) I:10 Development and writing of a 'Big Book' on the history of the Baths to be available in SB café, at the library and in parent and toddler groups. This could be based on characters developed as part of the story-telling resource above. I:11 SB internet café homepage link to digital history resources on the history of the Baths; screen saver uses historical images. (Digital Output). I:12 Development of short film (using green screen technology) to include BSL interpretation and subtitles. The scripted narrative could include the information available to the public at the Baths (i.e. leaflet, graphics). This can be available on and on desktop of computers in the internet café. (Digital Output). I:13 British Sign Language Interpreted tour on arrangement during monthly special heritage day slot. To be promoted through DeafPlus and Deaf Cultural Centre, Ladywood. I:14 Time-lapse photography film to be produced by a volunteer to show the before, during and completion of the SB restoration project. See Volunteering V:1. (Digital Output). 39 | P a g e
  41. 41. I:15 Two events where the public can ‘meet the expert’; talks by craftsmen and manager of the building site. This forms part of the programme of activities led by the appointed contractors Mansells in year one. I:16 Subject to funding. Critically acclaimed composer and vocalist Andy Garbi makes acoustic templates that capture the sonic characteristics of an enclosed space to preserve what a building "sounds like" at the precise time and date when they were made. He wishes to use this technique to record spaces in derelict buildings before restoration/conservation or redevelopment work begins. He would like to include Stirchley Baths, alongside other heritage buildings in Birmingham and across the UK. His compositions will provide another way to interpret the building and may lead to a public event to share this with a wider audience. I:17 Partnership project with the Drama Department at the University of Birmingham to create site-specific performances which interpret an aspect of the Baths history during their spring module in 2016. I:18 Run a design competition for students from the Birmingham School of Jewellery to make a 2014 Ceremonial Key for the reopening of the Baths. The winner would win the commission to make a new key which would be displayed along with the original key dated 1911 (if a permanent loan can be arranged with Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery). It is recommended that the delivery and coordination of the above is managed by the HDO. 3.6.4 Recommendations: Volunteering. In a building where the primary function is to serve the community there will naturally be a lot of voluntary activity happening. The District is already making a concerted effort to work with a lot of volunteer-led community groups within the area. As part of the HLF-funded activity programme, volunteers will support specific areas of work to increase access to the heritage of the Baths and wider Stirchley history. In fact, volunteers are vital to the delivery of the programme outlined in Section 3. It is important to invest in volunteers, especially when drawn from the immediate local communities as this in turn increases the capacity and skills within the area. The recommendations below outline a programme for volunteers where they have access to skills-based training, and a range of diverse volunteer roles. These will attract a diverse range of volunteers. Sample volunteer role descriptions are provided in Appendix E. BCC is currently working on a corporate volunteering strategy, including its own role descriptions. 40 | P a g e
  42. 42. V:1 Heritage Development Officer (HDO) to set up a volunteering programme; actively recruit, train and manage volunteers in a variety of roles to increase access to heritage:  Building history tour guides for special event days and monthly tour  Oral historians  Community language interpreters and ambassadors (to engage with local BAME audiences and translate interpretative and promotional material as appropriate)  Events assistants  Bloggers  Documentary photographer (to create time-lapse of restoration project and write blogs on building works. See I:14)  Schools education volunteers  Friendly meet & greet volunteers at new centre with knowledge of the history of building.  Local history walk leaders to run bi-monthly history walks of the area  Marketing support  Event organisers (project aimed at young volunteers. See C:8) V:2 Continuation of the voluntary Stirchley Baths Community Stakeholders Programming sub group. This group which will become the advisory committee for the ‘Community hub’ within year one of the project. They will advise on all aspects of community programming, including heritage-related activity. V:3 HDO to facilitate the setting up of a Stirchley Local History Group (currently no group exists), working with local historian Wendy Pearson and the Neighbourhood Forum. The first task would be to research and write an interpretative leaflet on the history of the Baths in year one, and research and create wider Stirchley history resources after. The group will be involved with collecting memories for an oral history archive, some of which can be used in the Bath’s interpretation scheme. At a workshop session at the Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum in March 2013, local residents worked in groups to discuss the key research themes they were interested in. See notes from this workshop in Appendix F. V:4 Work with freelance workers and young volunteers from Stirchley and surrounding areas on the planning of a community VE Day 2015 event. This will involve learning skills to research Stirchley in wartime, programming and marketing the event to other young people and wider audiences, ambassador work, social media, and being involved in a steering committee for the overall event. V:5 Volunteers to work with film maker to produce film about Stirchley, past, present and future. To learn new skills in film making techniques. 41 | P a g e
  43. 43. It is recommended that the delivery and coordination of the above is managed by the HDO. 3.6.5 Recommendations: Community Engagement & Audience Development There will be regular visitors to the building who attend community groups, meetings and organised classes. Some visitors will only come once for the ‘heritage offer’. Each visitor will have an ‘experience’ of the building’s history through physically being in the building; many of the original historic features will be refurbished and the onsite interpretation will encourage people to consider the buildings’ former uses. Indeed, publicity for the community ‘hub’ developed by the District will also feature the Baths’ history which is seen as a selling point and asset to bring in new centre users. A programme of heritage-related events and activities will raise awareness about architectural and social history of the Baths, and offer an enhanced learning experience. C:1 Build new local and city-wide audiences (heritage enthusiasts) to SB through participation in events such as Architecture Week (June) and the annual Heritage Open Days event (September). These national events provide free access, breaking down financial barriers which might prevent some people from visiting. They also raise awareness on a local, regional and national level through dedicated publicity campaigns. Special event days could include a volunteer-led history tour of the building, interactive story telling for families, a rare opportunity to see under the areas of floor board into the empty pool, a chance to go up on the balcony (controlled) to look down on to the pool area, talks on the history of the Baths etc. C:2 Launch event/opening of Stirchley Baths (community ‘hub’) for both VIPs and local residents (at the same event). Launch of Baths history leaflet produced by Stirchley Local History Group (see L:2). C:3 Run an art competition with local schools, colleges and community groups to produce artwork and written text based on Stirchley Baths to go on community display case on the site hoardings for the duration of the build (changing display, which visitors on hard hat tours will also be encouraged to contribute to). This competition would be accompanied by a school assembly if appropriate or an image resource, and social media campaign. C:4 Develop a volunteer-led history walk in Stirchley, to start and finish at Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’. Work with community language volunteers to deliver additional interpretation for non-English speakers where needed. C:5 Work with local young people to design and test a quiz around the inside and outside of the building suitable and engaging for other young people. This can be used on special heritage event days. C:6 Work with local families with children aged under 5 to create a family-friendly activity/trail inside and outside the building which can be used on special heritage event days. 42 | P a g e
  44. 44. C:7 Host a community event in partnership with The Friends of Stirchley Park and other local organisations and collaborations on Sat 9 May 2015 to celebrate Victory in Europe; 70 year anniversary (Fri 8 May). This might involve a 1940s themed event which recreates Stirchley in wartime. This would be a community-led event which is inspired by the war years at Stirchley Baths, but also showcases the building as a facility/venue to bring communities together within the first 8-9 months of opening. Initial ideas include:  1940s dances over the pool at the Baths and big band music  Drama piece on the Baths being used as a first aid post during the war  Traditional games in the park  St Edwards Primary school orchestra playing music of the era  Street performers  Bunting and union jacks  Recreation of a street party (Regent Street, 1945)  A range of performances by local school children and members of the Stirchley Community Centre weekly Tea dance  Vera Lynn impersonator to lead the sing-a-long and Winston Churchill with his famous Battle of Britain Speech  Character actors in military costume etc (which can be provided by South & City College)  Local bomb site history walks etc…  10 minute site-specific drama performance by University of Birmingham Drama Students  Themed market stalls – link in with Stirchley Community Market The event would be a culmination of community-led activity. For example:       C:8 Research by the history group Intergenerational learning in schools 1940s themed design and invitations/posters/ration cards by South & City College design students Planning and event management to involve local volunteers and young people Children's holiday and weekend craft activities to make bunting and paint union jacks South & City College drama students to script and create costumed characters to mingle with the audience. Work with freelance workers and young people from Stirchley on an intergenerational project with members of the Stirchley Community Centre Tea dance to learn dances from the 1940s. This will form part of the wider VE Day 2015 community celebration event. Young people have expressed an interest in teaching the 1940s dances they learn to school children. 43 | P a g e
  45. 45. C:9 Working with Stirchley Stitchers (Community Centre user group) in the development stages and the wider public in a participatory textile/felt arts project, recreate the mural painted on the tiles at the end of the swimming pool which appears in photos of the Baths in the 1980s. A piece for display within the temporary gallery space in the café. This can tie in with The Big Draw national event in October 2016, or another local community event. C:10 Work in partnership with a local graffiti artist and Friends of Stirchley Park (at the back of SB) on further wall murals themed on Stirchley past, present and future. (The Baths can be represented in both past and future). Stirchley Present is represented already by the Sleeping Child; a symbol of the reawakening of the area. These murals will be outlined by ‘Title’ and painted by Stirchley young people in a series of workshops. This will require further permission from The Co-operative who own the wall. The Sleeping Child, Graffiti by Title C:11 Contributing to the annual local Artsoak Festival and other festivals (2014), deliver two participatory half day workshops (venue tbc) with local communities using the old unusable tiles which were removed from the Baths during its restoration. Working with a ceramic/mosaic artist, individuals could create decorative mosaic pictures with the old tiles and other materials to take home which are inspired by and include images of the Bath's history under glass as part of their personalised design. After grouting work (off-site) is completed participants are invited back for a display event (and they can take their piece - and a little bit of Stirchley Baths - home with them)! 44 | P a g e
  46. 46. C:12 Remount of an installation created by Tom Cahill-Jones of local arts group Stirchley Happenings. Constructed from scrap materials reclaimed from local streets over a two year period, this hide will provide a vantage point from which local people can consider the changes to the Baths (including bowling green) that are about to commence, after many years of talking and stalled development. It can be positioned in Stirchley Park, overlooking the SB compound. Inside the structure there will be audio presentation - of memories collected during the development phase of this plan - as well as a reminder of the plans. There will be an opportunity for people to add further memories and join in the excitement of the start of the restoration project. Hinterland by Tom Cahill-Jones. Image by Phil Banting C:13 Develop the Black Horse Stables and Beer House Pub Quiz. The quiz takes its name from the Beerhouse that was sited on the Baths site from circa 1830.The quiz would take place at the Three Horseshoes, British Oak, and other local pubs – the Highbury, Grant Arms, Selly Park Tavern, Dog Pool Tavern if reopened, The Country Girl. C:14 Contribute to the Love Stirchley More Festival if there is a successful funding application - looking at memories of local people meeting, flirting, courting and falling in love at Stirchley Baths. This can be an output of the oral history project. C:15 Work in partnership with the new Stirchley Local History Group and Birmingham Heritage and Archives Service to create an archive both physical and digital of material (photos, oral history, memorabilia) on Stirchley Baths and other local history to deposit in Birmingham Archives. A history loans box to be produced for local storage at the Baths, for community use and as a schools resource. See V:3. C:16 A participatory arts project with St Andrews’s Healthcare, a mental health charity located in Stirchley, which draws a parallel between Stirchley Baths and recovery from mental health. The idea that the recovery of the building from something lost and damaged into something that is going to be useful again is like the mental health recovery journey. Working with a professional artist over four sessions, the patients will create artwork for temporary display at the community ‘hub’ (perhaps in the café). 45 | P a g e
  47. 47. C:17 Partnership projects with Joseph Chamberlain 'Film Production Club' and other local students to make short film documentaries to feature the SB project; to support evaluation and create content for the website. C:18 Two special 'historic' film nights relevant to the Baths including films about historic lidos, swimming pools etc… organised by Stirchley Happenings. C:19 Retrieve the community time capsule buried at the former Community Centre (from the 1960s) and invite local residents to an event to contribute to a new 2014 time capsule. Both will be buried under the pool, and visible under the Perspex flooring for visitors on heritage tours and event days. C:20 Working with representatives from 5-6 established Community Centre user groups and Stirchley Community School, create a series of panels using glass tiles and mosaic techniques to depict the history and heritage of Stirchley, including the Baths (tile work inspired by the tiling and glazed brickwork throughout the building). The individual panels can be mounted together to form a collective piece of community artwork which can be installed inside the building or at another location in Stirchley. See Boreham example below. It is recommended that the delivery and coordination of the above is managed by the HDO. 3.6.6 Recommendations: Learning. Heritage is important for the future success of the building. However, the primary function of Stirchley Baths community ‘hub’ will not be a museum, nor a heritage ‘attraction’. It will be a living, vibrant community space which draws upon its rich heritage. It is envisaged that special event days and a monthly ‘heritage tour’ will be offered in yrs 2-3 to provide opportunities for access to the heritage and develop the target audiences identified in this study. If successful, these may continue as a permanent part of the Community ‘hub’s programme. The building provides a wonderful resource for learning; informally through events and family activities designed with learning outcomes; and formally for schools to deliver areas of the National Curriculum. Juggling demand from schools and regular bookings may become problematic. The recommendation would be to programme two hours a week as provision for school activity in the large hall. This will enable a group of 30 children at a time to visit the site for a facilitated session. The two themed learning packages which have been identified as useful resources by two different primary schools are: Local Studies (history, geography, citizenship, industry, maps) and World War II. Local Studies will have a limited uptake from schools outside the area, but WWII themed resources and facilitated sessions are expected to be popular across the city, despite recent changes in the history curriculum. 46 | P a g e