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Future of brine baths could lie away from historic town location
1:17pm Monday 14th October 2013 in News
THE future of Droitwich Spa’s brine baths could lie away from its historic location if vital private investment can be found.
That was one of the main issues raised at a meeting held to discuss how to save the important heritage facility.
Talks were hosted by Droitwich Spa Town Council on Friday, October 11 at the request of SOBBS (Save Our Brine Baths) campaign group chairman William Moy.
A delegation of councillors, business experts and community representatives gathered in the council chamber of St Richard’s House, Victoria Square, to decide the best way forward in the fight to put the Spa back into Droitwich.
Those in attendance included SOBBS members as well as Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, Mohi El-Shazly from Droitwich Spa Knee Clinic, Jenny Liggitt from Droitwich Spa’s private hospital and a host of town, district and county councillors.
Mohi El-Shazly from Droitwich Spa Knee Clinic outlined the site’s history, potential business opportunities and the medical benefits of the baths, which were closed by BMI Healthcare at the end of 2008.
He said: “This is a crucial crossroads for Droitwich. Is it going to just be a commuter town or do we want our identity back? Do we want to put the Spa back into Droitwich?
“The brine baths are a national asset, not just a local one. In fact, they could even be considered an international asset.”
An important point came when Jenny Liggitt, from BMI Droitwich Hospital, was asked about the role the company could play in helping to reopen the baths at the current site in St Andrew’s Street.
She said that they would not be interested in opening the baths themselves, could only sub-let the building for 17 years and are planning to use part of the current site for another project.
In response to this the possibility of pumping brine to another town location was then put forward.
Aidan Stevens from St Andrews Town Hotel spoke at the meeting about how a brine bathing experience could be incorporated into a modern day spa facility that offers treatments, gym equipment and massages.
He also suggested that the town’s lido could be combined with the new brine baths.
“Brine is already pumped there,” he said, “Two town businesses could be used to compliment each other.”
Finally, the group decided on a number of key steps that needed to be taken to attract private investment for any future scheme. It was agreed that a panel would be set up to facilitate the creation of a detailed business and investment proposal.
After the meeting, SOBBS chairman William Moy said: “It was a very positive step. I am very pleased that all of the delegation were keen and enthusiastic for the reopening of the brine baths.”
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