Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Residents asked their views on future of Buckley baths

Buckley Swimming Club Squadron teams pictured at the baths in1947
Buckley Swimming Club Squadron teams pictured at the baths in 1947

Residents in a Flintshire town are being asked their views on how to transform a historic public baths building.

The swimming pool at Buckley opened in 1928, but closed five years ago when a new sports centre opened.

Originally, the building also contained six slipper baths, because many people had no bathing facilities at home.

Buckley Town Council wants suggestions on the "most appropriate and sustainable use" for the building.

The baths were funded by the local miners' welfare committee with funds generated through a one-penny-per-tonne levy from local mine owners.

That was part of a national scheme designed to improve poor living standards in mining communities.

At the time, the £5,000 donation towards the construction cost was the largest sum distributed in north Wales by the committee.

The first Buckley water polo team pictured in 1937
The first Buckley water polo team pictured in 1937

The town council has formed the Buckley Baths review sub-committee to consider ideas put forward.

It will work with Flintshire council and the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation to draw up a shortlist to be submitted for planning.

Town mayor, Carol Ellis, said: "We're looking as much to the younger generation as the older generation for input, and I hope that pupils and staff at local schools will play an active part in the baths debate."

"We need to cater for population growth in our area.

"A predicted 23% of all new residential build in the county over the next 10 years will be in and around Buckley, creating as many as 3,000 new residents.

"The decisions we make now will affect the facilities and opportunities available to those people and their families well into the future."

Suggestions already made include a day care centre, indoor market, meeting and training facilities, an event and performance venue and a sports facility.

Dave Thomas, regional manager with the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation, said: "Buckley baths didn't just cost money - 1.2 m tonnes of coal had to be dug out of the ground to pay for it.

"It is only right that they should be used for the benefit of local communities."

Suggestions can be sent to: Buckley Town Council, Council Offices, Mold Road, Buckley CH7 2JB.

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