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2020 Newsletter

Please may I take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to Wigton Baths Trust to assist us in our task to secure and develop the baths for the whole community. We have had a very exciting year but accompanied by some major disappointments.

Building Development.

In May 2019 we were delighted to be offered an £80,000 conditional grant from Sport England towards the proposed building plans. This was fabulous news as it meant we were a huge step forwarded in fulfilling the dream to have dry side facilities to enhance the experience of current Baths’ users but also to create rooms that could generate further income streams. We had also submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery and commenced a Pilot study to judge interest in the memories café. That Pilot Study produced wonderful anecdotes from all sorts of customers, past and present with some memories going back 9 decades. Most respondents were from Cumbria but we had messages from Yorkshire, Lancashire, the North East, Glasgow London and the Orkneys. Unfortunately, this bid to the Heritage Lottery was not successful. Action on the “Sharing Memories” Project is therefore on hold but we are still happy to receive your stories until we get moving on funding again. Unfortunately, our application to Power to Change Community Business Fund was also unsuccessful.

Next Steps.

We can reapply to both Lottery grants and are taking advice from them. But we are looking at additional/alternative ways to fund the building extension. We are considering trying to raise some money by crowdfunding and exploring the possibilities of Community Shares. We are also looking again at saving energy costs and will be re-evaluating the various systems to see if we can make changes to further impact on our carbon footprint.

Our Task to ensure sustainability.

We have 12 primary Schools using the Baths this year and we were very sad not being able to accommodate all schools wishing to swim with us as a mutually suitable day could not be found. There is however some free capacity if a school wishes to contact Elaine at the baths. Lessons have reached an all-time high and we had to increase with a fourth evening last year. One to one lessons are always popular both with children and adults. We are seeing an increase in people who have been referred by health professionals postoperatively or to increase their exercise to prevent the onset of heart disease and strokes, or reduce the risk of further damage to their heart and lungs. The easy access steps have facilitated those who struggle with the ladder steps. Individuals and Groups from Chrysalis continue to use the Pool every week and it is a real pleasure to welcome them each session. Wigton Baths 2 Trainer Assessors provide Lifeguard Training Courses as required and we currently have a waiting list for the next course. These training courses are popular for local competent swimmers aged 16years plus who are adding qualifications to their CV and in addition providing the community with a better supply of lifeguards. We are pleased that the Naturist Group attendance warranted the inclusion of monthly sessions and these continue to bring much needed extra income

Insulation and general fuel economy measures are working well. However, the Air Handling Unit is ancient and we really need to replace this with a better system to further decrease fuel costs. Maintaining this old building requires extra funding all the time.

Fuel costs have risen in spite of our relatively low power usage, which is disappointing.

Wages and pension costs are set to rise further and therefore we have no choice in increasing the costs to all users of the Baths in April 2020.

The new Vehicular Access.

We are very pleased that the plans are now approved to provide a vehicle access road through the new estate being built for Home Group. These plans are now approved and it will make the access easier for those attending the baths and improve the comfort for those using Stony Banks as a footpath. This access road is anticipated to arrive once the 50th house is built and Stony Banks will then cease to be used as vehicle access.

Closed Footpaths – last year was dogged with an extended period when the main footpath from Laurel Terrace was closed by CCC for much-needed maintenance. Although the able-bodied managed the other circuitous routes we know we lost custom especially from the less physically able and those who could not attempt to drive over Stony Banks. However, the footpath from Laurel Terrace is now fully open and looks a lot tidier and safer with the new sandstone beck edge and railings.

Car Park – Increased use of the Baths has meant that the previous car parking area had insufficient hard standing. Thanks to amazing volunteers Reece Lapping and Dion Studolme the grassed verge area has been re-laid with hardcore and a neat roped fence that affords better use of the car park.

Staff Training and Staff Development

Career development is important both for the staff and business. It is vital to retain a skilled workforce to provide the number of lessons and aquatic activities featured on the timetable. Our 2 TA’s provide all our in-service training needs for lifeguarding as well as running LG courses for our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers, swim club members and the general public. The second apprentice has now completed her training and is part of the staff team. Wigton Baths Trust has supported training opportunities for staff at all levels and we were grateful to Allerdale Borough C who provided funds this year for a Level 2 gym instructor (Aquacise) further supplementing our staff training needs. Jack is now employed as Deputy Manager and will be attending an RLSS Pool Management training course in February.

Working with the community.

We are a community pool that exists because of its community support and is the only community pool in North Allerdale. The Pool itself is an asset to the community and is used by individuals groups and families including the resident Sub-Aqua Dive Club. In addition to teaching the skill of swimming, the Baths staff promote and provide activities in the water for groups and schools including water awareness and life-saving, providing both sports and leisure activities. It can be rented by the hour by youth groups, scouts and brownies and other community groups but is always supervised by at least 2 lifeguards. The popular long-standing Swim Club meets weekly and has about 70 members. One Wigton Baths Swim Club coach provides his training for free to train a group of cold water swimmers all year who then swim a variety of challenges in the Lakes in the summer to raise funds for charities such as the Eden Valley Hospice. Schools have also used the Pool to raise awareness of environmental issues. For example, one primary school highlighted plastic waste pollution in the sea using the baths as a large visual aid to raise awareness of the effects of plastic waste. The local senior schools use the baths to host galas for their feeder schools and have also run duathlon events ( swim/run ) from the Baths. Wigton Baths staff work closely with and deliver joint projects to Wigton Youth Station and Wigton Boxing Club. Wigton resident Dave Smith very kindly donated money to purchase the second-hand large inflatable that is used at weekends and can be rented for parties and for playtime during other booked sessions.

Fundraising – we continue year-round with various fundraising activities such as Quiz nights and Raffles to help maintain the baths and we are most grateful to all who join in and contribute but until we build the dry side rooms in the roof space we are still reliant on grants.

Grants

Wigton Baths are most grateful to Allerdale Borough Council, Wigton Town Council and the following parish councils Aikton, Allhallows, Boltons, Bromfield, Kirkbampton, Kirkbride, Thursby, Waverton, Westward for their continued support. We are also grateful to EDF in supporting us each year with proceeds from the Great Orton Windfarm. We are most appreciative to Cumbria Community Foundation who have directed us to revenue grants from the Joyce Wilkinson Trust and a new fund from CCL Secure Ltd. These grants will help support the baths to deliver promised services to the community. I hope your organisation feels we are offering a facility that deserves your continued support. It is an essential income to keep the place open for the North Allerdale Community. Please let us know if we can improve in any way.


Kind Regards, Mave Tyas, Chair, Wigton Baths Trust

Email trust@wigtonbaths.co.uk www.wigtonbaths.co.uk


Wigton Baths Trust Company No: 8952126 : Registered Charity 115906


The Cumberland Account name: Wigton Baths Trust Sort Code: 16-52-21 Account Number: 52159557

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