Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Haggerston Pool Action Group, Hackney



1.  Introduction

  1.1  Shoreditch New Deal Trust (SNDT), has developed this Business Plan for a Shoreditch Healthy Living Centre (SHLC). There has been extensive input from the community, including Robin Murray from the Haggerston Pool Action Group, Jackie Henry from the Health Action Zone and Peng Ong from Hackney Co-operative Development Agency.

  1.2  There has been a very active 18-month campaign run by the local community to save Haggerston Baths, which was temporarily closed by Hackney Council in February 2000. The Healthy Living Centre and SNDT input, has been embraced by the campaigners as a positive way forward.

  1.3  The SHLC will provide a hub and spoke model of healthy living. The hub is Haggerston Pool—a historic local landmark in full working order as a swimming baths with related facilities including a well-equipped gym.

  1.4  The proposal is for the Shoreditch New Deal Trust, a registered charity set up by and for the people of Shoreditch, to take over the running of the pool, develop the site and link up with a wide range of local initiatives, including several from the New Deal Trust itself.

2.  Summary

  2.1  The Shoreditch Healthy Living Centre aims to enable people to live richer, fuller and happier lives, freed from preventable pain and anxiety. We will achieve this by interweaving health enhancing activities into Shoreditch life. Shoreditch will become a healthy living environment—based around a hub and spoke model. The underlying principle is that, under one umbrella, a range of complementary, co-ordinated activities will feed from and to each other. The Hub is a high quality and high profile building which is already rooted in the community. The Spoke activities are an integral part of neighbourhood life, on peoples' doorsteps and very accessible.

  2.2  The major features of the Shoreditch Healthy Living Centre are:

    —  flagship hub and spoke model organically developed in one of the most deprived areas in the country;

    —  equal access to top quality provision, with integrated use;

    —  sustainable architecture, environmentally advanced;

    —  part of a major, community-led multi-faceted regeneration programme;

    —  broad vision of health and well-being tangibly applied;

    —  integration across boundaries: diverse communities (eg ethnicity, class), diverse activities (art and sport);

    —  development and learning of each user both individually, but also collectively as part of an organised, community-wide structure; and

    —  tangible focus of a good size swimming baths which is widely used by local people. Also provides the only competitive swimming training to national standards, including for Olympic and Para-Olympic team members, in Hackney.

  2.3  Shoreditch is one of the most deprived areas in England. So much so, it has one of the Pathfinder New Deal in Community programmes, who will be managing the project. It is on the border with the City and several areas with greater affluence. It is an area of high density, with a growing population of both residents and also daytime workers due to the City fringe effect. The business case shows that our Healthy Living Centre's viability is linked to tapping into the growing market for fitness, especially based around a life-style model.


3.  Our Vision

  3.1  We aim to enable people to live richer, fuller and happier lives, freed from preventable pain and anxiety. We will achieve this by interweaving health enhancing activities into Shoreditch life. The Shoreditch New Deal Trust, as an organisation led by the community in Shoreditch, will spearhead these activities, integrating them with a wide number of initiatives regenerating the Shoreditch area.

  3.2  Our Healthy Living Centre approach is centred on:

    1.  Taking control of our own mental and physical health and well-being.

    2.  Maximising individual mind, body spirit potential—being all that we can be.

    3.  Constantly developing our self-knowledge and awareness as social beings and as part of our community/ies.

    4.  Belonging.

    5.  Easy access to appropriate, accessible and acceptable help as and when we need it, eg on the doorstep, co-ordination of what is already happening.

    6.  Self-help.

    7.  Making a contribution to helping others.

    8.  A place where local people want to be.

4.  Aims

  4.1  To develop a top quality, community-led provision with a broad remit of health and well-being.

  4.2  To be based in principles of equity and environmental sustainability.

  4.3  To raise the health of the mind, spirit and body—improving the quality of life through mutual help and self-help.

  4.4  To develop new synergies between traditional and complimentary practices.

  4.5  To link the wider community and the wider environment in a hub and spoke provision.

  4.6  To integrate health activities, sport, learning, self-management, advice and information, volunteering, cultural/skills exchange, links with the local economy and service providers.

  4.7  To foster mutual learning to develop knowledge and understanding.

  4.8  To foster social networks and activities across and within communities (neighbourhood, ages, gender, abilities, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, religion, interests).


5.  Healthy Living Centre Hub and Spoke

  5.1  The whole of Shoreditch to be a healthy living environment—based around a hub and spoke model. The underlying principle is that, under one umbrella, a range of complimentary, co-ordinated activities will feed from and to each other. These are essentially flexible, responsive to change and diversity, and enabling a sense of community identity and health enhancement for all.

  5.2  The Hub—a quality centre led by the community to initiate, inspire, stimulate, resource, advise, campaign, co-ordinate: the "mother-ship" based on a tangible and popular symbol of health and well-being—the swimming pool itself. A venue for cross-fertilisation, eg art and sport and social. To be big enough to encompass everyone, regardless of abilities and status. A visible flagship to give tangible local identity and ownership of the vision.

  5.3  The Spokes—an integral part of neighbourhood life, to be on people's doorsteps, to ensure access. To feed into, and out of, the central hub. There are a huge number of activities in the area which are health promoting and will benefit from being part of a Healthy Living Centre umbrella. New activities will be developed, eg local walks, the farmers' market.

  5.4  The following table gives some of the provisional ingredients.

ThemeHub activities Spoke activities
Therapies and HealthcareAccess to affordable and qualified complimentary therapy.

Provide venue for primary care and mental health group work.

Meeting resource and space for local self-help groups, including initiating new ones where gaps.

Develop local provision of outpatient clinics and tests.

Young people's drop-in clinic.
Develop self-management/help in chronic ill health: including IT, website development and portal approach, eg Loughborough estate in Brixton.

Link in HIMP and HAZ activitites.

Exercise and SportWater-based: individual, club and group swimming and water aerobics at all levels.

Swimming: for schools, Hackney Community College, target groups.

Swimming lessons (child in child's pool and adults).


Fitness rooms for yoga, martial arts, table tennis, keep fit.

Sauna and possible solarium.

Women only sessions (including women lifeguards).

SHOX card special rates for full range of sports activities.
Exercise on prescription scheme now in operation.

Fitness classes (keep fit, yoga, t'ai chi, karate) for all abilities.

Restoration of local leagues, linked to Shoreditch Festival, eg 5-a-side, darts, fishing.

Three local trails:

Historic: linking the market, Haggerston Baths, Hoxton Square, Geffrye Museum, Shoreditch Town Hall, Hoxton Hall.

Green: Canal walk linking Shoreditch Park and Haggerston Park.

Gardens: linking the Farm Garden, Thrive, Hoxton Garden and Geffrye Museum Herb garden.
Culture and self-expressionArt, music, dance which is integral and visible—workshops.

Performance space.

Art displays (individual and collective works) and activities.

Ways to link art and sports, eg photographic competitions.

Link with many local arts projects, including possible local sessions from Core Arts for people with mental health problems.

Synthesis with Shoreditch Festival.
EnvironmentSustainable building: solar powered, water bored water.

Recycling through community noticeboard.

Possible bike hire centre.

Communal launderette.
Links with wider environment, encouraging use of green spaces, within walking/pram pushing distance of high-density area, reducing reliance on motorised vehicles.

Links with Agenda 21 initiatives.
LeisureBe-friending, peer education and volunteering schemes.

Café: potential branch of Training for Life's quality training restaurant in Covent Garden, where Prue Leith is pivotal as a Trustee.

Children's play area/cre"che.

Developed links with other local organisations, specifically including the Holly St gym, the VLC Centre, Hoxton Health group and the Sharp End.
Social networksInformal, as HLC users as well as formally through participation in events and activities.

A bar and specific social events.

LETS scheme development.

Through participation, social interaction and seeing a range of different initiatives, people will develop their life skills. The scale of the HLC will allow absorption of the more vulnerable, eg people with a disability, the very elderly, people in mental distress. Some targeted work to be undetaken.

Outings organised.


Learning, development, enterprise and employment There are a large number of training agencies locally. What many lack is access to work experience and actual jobs. The Centre will be able to provide apprenticeships, and some jobs, in the many roles within itself: receptionist, lifeguards, administration, keep fit instructors, gardening, maintenance.

The café will both train, employ and generate an income.

A Shop within the baths will give opportunities for income generation.
Swimming and fitness lessons/learning will be part of the core business of the HLC—with an emphasis on individual progression and achievement regardless of age, ability and employability.

The HLC will enable an expansion in training in community agencies such as Laburnum Boat Club and the local Boys' Clubs and Girls' Guild.
  Potential to provide drop-off delivery point for e-commerce for those not at home for home deliveries.

Cash dispenser.

Specific "markets" can be held, eg farmer's market linked to farm,
crafts/home-made goods.
Advice and informationKnowledge suite, including on-line support and library, about health and access to healthcare. Peer education programmes/outreach advice.
  Usable database of local voluntary sector initiatives.   
  Potential advice service outreach from CAB, CHC, patient advocate organisations.   
  Health fairs.   
Giving back to the communityLots of scope for volunteering, including peer support programmes.

LETS/Time Bank scheme.

Community and neighbourhood development through building HLC activities into organic structures.

The existing SHOX card to develop as electronic card to enable discounts and access to services for most marginalised.


6.  Location and users

  6.1  Haggerston Pool is situated in a largely residential area of Shoreditch, located in the southern part of the London Borough of Hackney and in the City Fringe, about one mile from the border. It is also about half a mile from the border with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

  6.2  It is an area of high density. This density is increasing as old, possibly derelict warehouses, particularly by the canal and in the southern tip of Shoreditch, are brought into residential use and new housing developments are taking place on any patches of unused land. There is also a substantial increase in the daytime population as the area becomes more attractive to business. However, it is also an area with a dearth of leisure facilities.

  6.3  The area south of the Baths is predominantly made up of council estates, built in the 1950s and 1970s, and some pre-war housing. This includes many high-rise blocks. To the north, around Queensbridge Road, there is one large estate, Holly Street, recently subject to a massive development programme and a number of smaller estates the other side of the canal. There are also several streets of Victorian and Edwardian homes, many a substantial size, which are largely in private ownership. The Baths is, therefore, situated between areas of high deprivation and high income households.

  6.4  The Baths is next to the canal and to Haggerston Park, where a City Farm is located. In the building next door is the Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian (VLC) Centre, a large community hall. Laburnum Boat Club, which runs canoeing and has a long boat for local youth and adults to use on the canal, is located in the road at the back of the pool. The Boat Club uses the pool extensively for training.

  6.5  Sixteen local schools use/d Haggerston Baths with over 500 children. There are also a large number of swimming clubs. In addition, the pool is used for training by Laburnum Boat Club.

7.  The Building

  7.1  Haggerston Baths opened in 1904 and was in public use until February 2000. It was closed by Hackney Council as they identified a need for urgent maintenance work, having had no financial investment for the past 10 years. Appendix 3 [not printed] gives the immediate work needed to the building, as well as photos, layout and design. Appendix 4 [not printed] gives some initial options for development of the site.

  7.2  The building has suffered from both poor maintenance over the last 10 years at least and no modernisation. Some of the maintenance which has been carried out has been of a poor quality. It is a tribute to the good design and quality of the building that the building is still in relatively good condition.

  7.3  The pool is Grade II listed and on English Heritage's At Risk list.

8.  Access

  8.1  The pool specifically aims not to rely on private transport. 68 per cent of Shoreditch residents have no car. The current means of transport are:

    —  walking: the link to a scenic route along the canal and through Haggerston Park will be promoted;

    —  buses: Kingsland Road and Hackney Road have many bus routes, but they are both about five minutes walk away. The new Hoxton Hoppa, providing a service across Shoreditch, will be able to take people door to door in the SNDT area;

    —  bicycle: we will ensure secure bicycle storage near or in the centre. We will investigate separate bike paths serving the Hub, linked to GLA strategy and having a bike hire centre at the Hub; and

    —  cars: parking in the area is restricted—there are yellow lines, resident only parking areas and several metered areas. There is, however, a large free car park in Haggerston Park, which could be linked up with the Centre. Bearing in mind the high density of the area and location of the HLC in the heart of the community and stress on local provision, the shortage of car space is not seen as an insurmountable problem.

  8.2  Disabled access is currently by ramp at the Laburnum Road end of the building. The Healthy Living Centre will be designed and adapted to be fully accessible to all members of the community.

9.  Equity

  9.1  Part of the uniqueness of this Healthy Living Centre is its ability to reach marginalised communities, who don't currently have access to the wide range of facilities vital to health and well-being. For example, through its charging policy, by being on the doorstep and by raising the quality of provision usually available to the most marginalised.

  9.2  Swimming and bathing are enjoyable activities which span most cultures. People of all ages and levels of disability can also enjoy it. We will ensure that the baths can be used by all, eg ensuring women lifeguards for women only sessions.

  9.3  Haggerston Baths itself is widely used and supported by the community it serves, with a howl of protest from local residents to the closure. The HLC will respond to the needs of the diverse communities, addressing health inequalities based on class and ethnicity. It will forge innovative links between health, leisure, sport and cultural activities and new forms of training and employment.

  9.4  It will address some of the access to health service issues locally based on lack of information, geographical barriers and motivation.

10.  Catchment Area

  10.1  In the Shoreditch area, the major challenge involves addressing poverty: high levels of sickness and long-term illness exist alongside high unemployment rates, lack of opportunities in education and low standard of living. Affordability is a major issue for local people across the whole spectrum of daily life, as is access to local services and facilities.

  10.2  Set within a national context, Hackney itself is the second most deprived Borough in England and Wales, and scores high in many measures of deprivation, including unemployment and overcrowding, with large numbers of lone parent households and pensioners living alone. (City and Hackney Public Health Profile, 1999.)

  10.3  But even Shoreditch's deprivation levels are above the Hackney average:

    —  33 per cent of residents are on income support;

    —  47 per cent are in receipt of Housing Benefit; and

    —  68 per cent of households do not have access to a car.

  The Shoreditch population also has:

    —  a registered unemployment rate of 16 per cent and 28 per cent for black and ethnic minorities, double the average rate in inner London;

    —  30 per cent of school leavers do not get a job. Only 13 per cent go into higher education;

    —  a mean weekly income per household of £169.80;

    —  the chief dislike among young people is the lack of facilities;

    —  all of the estates in the SNDT "core" area are included in the DETR list of the 1,000 most deprived estates in the UK; and

    —  66 per cent of residents do not feel involved in their community.

  (SNDT Phase 2 Delivery Plan, January 2000.)

  10.4  Health in Shoreditch is poor:

    —  the standardised mortality ratio for men aged 15-64 is 76 per cent higher than the national average and 50 per cent higher for women;

    —  illness rates are 40 per cent higher than the national average;

    —  over 12 per cent of babies are underweight, compared to 10 per cent across Hackney as a whole and 8 per cent nationally;

    —  male mental health admission rates are almost five times the national average, and double that for women; and

    —  16 per cent higher Limiting Long-term illness levels than Hackney.

  10.5  The area has a rich cultural mix, with people form a variety of ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds, presenting many opportunities for a local Healthy Living Centre.

  10.6  In the SNDT area alone over 37 per cent of the population is black, (including Black British, African-Caribbean and African). Of the 62.8 per cent white population a significant number are Turkish, Kurdish, Cypriot and other Europeans, and some of mixed race. There is a small Asian population made up of Indian, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese and Chinese residents. This rich mix brings benefits along with problems of discrimination leading to disadvantage.

  10.7  When residents of estates were asked about the social and community facilities on the estate, 24 per cent responded that there were none and 29 per cent did not know. Only a minority of 11 per cent of the sample enjoyed good or excellent facilities, 16 per cent acceptable ones and 19 per cent poor or very poor. (Phase 1 Baseline Resident Survey, User Research, July 1999.)

  10.8  The catchment area of the Haggerston Baths is taken to be within 10 minutes drive time, or about a mile radius. The population is about 260,000. 68 per cent of this catchment area falls into the poorest ACORN category F: "striving", and 28 per cent in the comfortable "rising" category C.

  10.9  ACORN also provides an analysis of "Swimming propensity". In Haggerston itself, there is a lower than average swimming interest, but weight training scores considerably higher than the national average. However, within the 10 minute drive catchment area, there are high and intense swimming interests in the north.

11.  Other facilities and services in the area

  11.1  Swimming pools: the closest pools are at:

    —  York Hall in Bethnal Green (20 minute walk from Haggerston, longer from other parts of Shoreditch), and no direct bus route). An old, traditional pool;

    —  Kings Hall in Clapton, about two miles away. A bus does go direct along Hackney Road, but not from the west side of the Borough (ie from Kingsland Road or New North Road). Another old, traditional pool;

    —  Ironmonger Row, in Islington, is about a mile from the western part of Shoreditch, but not very accessible from the east, although one bus route goes from the Hackney Road down Old Street. A modern pool with traditional lanes structure;

    —  Britannia Leisure Centre is in Shoreditch and therefore accessible. However, it only provides a modern leisure pool, which does not allow for traditional swimming;

    —  there has been talk for some time about re-opening the old London Fields Lido. This was an open-air pool in London Fields, which is about a mile from Haggerston Baths; and

    —  Clissold Park Pool is now near completion. However, it is not a natural contender for use by local people as totally inaccessible from all parts of Shoreditch.

  11.2  Health: The Shoreditch hospitals, St Leonards and the Mildmay, closed as community hospitals over 10 years ago. The nearest hospitals are now the Homerton, which is inaccessible both in terms of location some three miles away and in terms of public transport (it can take three buses to reach from parts of Shoreditch). Barts Hospital, in the City, has a walk-in Minor Injuries Unit open Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm.

  There are quality Health Centres on the other side of Shoreditch (N1) and in the grounds of St Leonard's Hospital. Several GP premises locally, however, are poor quality and even when standards are higher regarding the fabric, there is a shortage of space to run, eg clinic sessions.

  Since the recent closure of the Drop-in at the Shoreditch Centre, there is no local mental-health specific facility in Shoreditch: outreach is the main service. There is a Clubhouse style provision in Stoke Newington, some three miles away and inaccessible from as many parts of Shoreditch. Core Arts is an innovative arts project for people in mental distress based in the north of the Borough, but looking to run sessions in different parts of Hackney, including Shoreditch.

  11.3  Sport: Haggerston Park has an all-weather football pitch and the remains of a trim trail now over 10 years old. There are several sports pitches at the back of Haggerston Girls' School, which is a stone's throw from the pool. These are used as part of a youth centre provision in the evening. The other sports pitches, including tennis, are in Shoreditch Park in the west of the area.

  There is a new gym on the Holly Street development, and at the Britannia Centre. The Hackney Community College, based in the centre of Shoreditch, is building a brand new gym, for use by students as well as commercially. Just over the border in Tower Hamlets, there is a new sports hall at Bethnal Green Technology College. However, neither have a pool attached. There is a mixed use gym in the crypt of St John's in Hoxton. There is a commercial gym based in Hoxton Square, where martial arts are also taught.

  The Boy's Clubs locally (Lion and Crown and Manor) and local schools run a wide range of sports, and have associated facilities. The TA/TRA halls host a variety of sports activities, including martial arts and keep fit.

  11.4  Parks, Gardens and open space: Haggerston Park is opposite the pool. Its facilities include sport, play and a City Farm. The other side of Shoreditch, and joined by the canal towpath, is Shoreditch Park. Shoreditch Park is subject to major development, funded by the Shoreditch New Deal Trust. There are also three public community gardens in the area: Thrive in Haggerston, the City Farm in Haggerston Park and Hoxton Trust garden in Hoxton Street. The VLC Centre, next to the pool, has a developed communal garden.

  The Regents Canal is a stone's throw from the pool and accessible from Queensbridge Road. The tow path runs across Shoreditch, and up to Victoria Park, about a mile away.

  There are several small parks, notably Hoxton Square and in Shepherdess Walk.

  11.5  Play: there are large playgrounds in Shoreditch Play Park (adjacent to Shoreditch Park) and Apples and Pears Adventure Playground in Pearson Street, Haggerston. There are also small play spaces around the estates and in Haggerston Park.

  11.6  Voluntary sector provision: there is a huge range of voluntary activities in the area. Notable groups include:

    —  the Hoxton Health Group, which provides complementary therapies to people, aged over 60 at nominal cost;

    —  the Sharp End for elderly people which runs a host of initiatives including exercise sessions and art classes;

    —  youth groups include two Boys' Clubs, the Girls' Guild, Laburnum Boat Club; and

    —  the Turkish Advocacy and Counselling Service.


12.  SWOT Analysis

Local flagship to be proud of.

Tangible, visible healthy living centre.

The pool as "the heartbeat".

Widespread community identification and support.

Existing range of activities, both in community and use of pool.

Swimming as a unifying activity across cultures and ages.

Link to park, neighbouring projects and canal.
Building not maintained.

Not on main bus route (at the moment).

Poor primary care in the area and access to secondary.

Weakened user base because run down and closed for past six months.

Balancing different expectations of users.
Lots of space/potential for pool itself.

Links with local health providers.

Community involvement in running (management, community enterprise and volunteering).

New Hoxton Hoppa bus service stops at door.

Income generation possibilities.

Link with HAZ.

New Opportunities Fund.

Joint work with others, eg Pool Action Group, Queensbridge Trust.

Multiplicity of spokes ensures network continues even if some disappear.
LBH financial situation.

Pools always run at a loss.

Competition—eg gym or other pools.

Building could have greater problems than currently identified once work starts.

Victim of own success, eg overcrowded pool.

Crime deters people coming out, notably after dark.

If mismanaged, different charges could be divisive.

SNDT only 10 year programme.

Community burnout/disillusionment, particularly with pace of development.

13.  The Operating Environment

  13.1  The sports and fitness sector includes leisure centres, sports clubs, gyms and health clubs. The market is substantial and growing rapidly. Some areas that will impact on the HLC are:

  13.2  Sport and fitness:

    —  the sports and fitness industry was worth an estimated £6.3 billion in 1998, of which £1 billion was spent on the fitness industry;

    —  participation in regular exercise has actually fallen from 46 per cent in 1996 to 43 per cent in 1999. However, the number of adults involved in at least one activity (excluding walking) has grown since 1987 from 62 per cent to 70 per cent in 1999;

    —  although swimming remains the most popular, accounting for 27 per cent of the top 10 sports and leisure activities of the population aged over 18 years in 1999, it is in decline;

    —  in general, the trend appears to show a move away from participation in traditional sports. One notable growth area has been in activities which emphasise fitness rather than competition, such as aerobics and the gym;

    —  more women are taking part in sports such as swimming and keep fit, in particular aerobics, whereas more men are taking up weightlifting. One of the fastest growing groups of sports consumers is the over 50s;

    —  almost as many women as men now use equipment in fitness, although more women than men take classes;

    —  leisure expenditure relates to disposable income. Medical statistics indicate that adults in higher income groups enjoy better health: health awareness does now extend to other social groups, but they may not have the means to take action. Young people from all backgrounds may see keeping fit as part of a stylish social scene. Possible market opportunities exist amongst the under-represented sectors—middle aged women and older people; and

    —  the Government's recent White Paper "Saving Lives, Our Healthier Nation" states that exercise should not only be affordable for all at a local level, but should also be offered as an alternative to medication prescribed by GPs.

  13.3  Alternative lifestyles:

    —  martial arts may also be seen in the context of interest in alternative lifestyles. The oriental holistic approach means that emotional and spiritual development is as important as fitness. Certain arts lend themselves to such ideas more than others, eg Tai Chi;

    —  the complimentary medicine market (both therapies and remedies) is experiencing major growth. The complimentary medicine market was worth £555 million in 1996, a rise of £450 million since 1992;

    —  this growth indicates a need that is not met by conventional medicine, and is increasingly stimulated by the increasing trend towards self-treatment. Increased purchasing by the NHS, notably GPs, will also have an effect;

    —  one of the areas increasingly questioned is qualifications. The HLC will be able to address these concerns by only working with appropriately trained and experienced practitioners; and

    —  Yoga and Tai Chi are suitable for a range of people. It is possible for everyone to progress to their own level of ability. Tai Chi has been identified as one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents in elderly people.


14.  Organisation and Management

  14.1  The Shoreditch New Deal Trust is negotiating with Hackney Local Authority to take over Haggerston Baths. The Trust was established in 1999 as one of 17 Government Pathfinder New Deal for Communities programmes. It has been community led from the start. The Board has 16 elected representatives. The Trust is a company, limited by guarantee and a registered charity number (to be inserted once received).

  14.2  When the SNDT takes on the management, we will operate it through a sub-committee of the Board representing wider community of interest and neighbourhood. Once established, we would anticipate, spinning off the committee as a Community Trust.

  14.3  Pool users formed the Haggerston Pool Action Group and Haggerston Pool Trust in February 2000 when the Council first closed the Pool. They have been instrumental in keeping the baths on the local political agenda and are major stakeholders in the new development. They have been involved in developing this business plan and will be fully involved in the management.

  14.4  There are three main management tasks in the initial stages:

    —  running the pool and associated fitness areas. This can be sub-contracted to an experienced management agent. Aquaterra are a non-profit making management company with a good track record running Islington's pools. Initial discussions have been held with them;

    —  project management of the redevelopment process, major capital works, including building design, environmental innovations etc. It will also be necessary to work with future service providers; and

    —  generation of new activities other than the swimming and fitness core. Development and co-ordination of the spoke activities.

  14.5  We will undoubtedly require a site manager and probably a high quality project manager to fulfil the above tasks.

15.  Marketing

  15.1  The following principles underpin our marketing strategy:

    —  integrated provision for people of all incomes;

    —  a high quality service for all;

    —  use by those better off subsidising use of those who are disadvantaged; and

    —  catchment area of a mile radius, but also those working in the City on the way to and from work.

  15.2  The target groups for marketing are:

    —  leisure and fitness centres rely heavily on their reputation in the community. It is therefore beneficial to include in the SHLC local community and sports events;

    —  local residents individually, ie those in the SNDT area and pram pushing distance (half a mile radius). Means will include referral by GPs and community nurses, use of SNDT newsletter. Also use and promotion of existing SHOX card;

    —  local organisations (group membership) eg Community College, schools, fire station, police, Primary Care Trust;

    —  user groups: swimming clubs, Laburnum Boat Club, diving schools; and

    —  externally, encourage meetings, training seminars, performing and exhibitions at the HLC with local community groups, private, voluntary and statutory organisations.

  15.3  A full Marketing Strategy will be developed. This will include other factors such as the attraction of a historic building, specialist services such as film location, getting listed in restaurant guides.

16.  Pricing policy

  16.1  There are two aims: to bring enough paying users so the HLC can operate viably and to provide an affordable HLC for local people who are disadvantaged. The intention is to have the best quality provision that will attract people from a wide area. Systems will be developed to enable local disadvantaged people to have a subsidised rate. The use of slack hours during the weekdays are one obvious means of achieving this.

  16.2  There are three basic approaches to charging:

    —  membership which entitles the individual (or group members) to use all the facilities;

    —  membership where additional charges are made for certain facilities; and

    —  no membership scheme with each activity chargeable.

  16.3  We will benchmark membership fees with other leisure/fitness centres.

  16.4  We will develop a Leisure Card system. Haggerston baths is already equipped for an electronic card, and this will be linked to the SNDT's SHOX card.

17.  Opening hours

  17.3  Early and late opening will allow people to attend outside of working hours. If the centre has a bar, then a visit to the gym or pool can be more of a social event than a simple workout.

  17.4  The HLC will open from 7 am to 11 pm.


18.  Funding the future

  18.1  The basic economics of the hub—the pool plus fitness activities (on the model of a health club)—is that they require public finance if they are not to exclude substantial numbers of local people through the level of admission charges. The Shoreditch Healthy Living Centre aims to solve this economic deficit in two ways:

    —  committed core funding; and

    —  capital grants which increase space for revenue raising.

  18.2  The intention is to develop the HLC in two stages. The first is to reopen the Centre with the core activities. The second stage is to develop the site at an estimated cost of £6.5 million.

  18.3  The core proposition can be boiled down to the following:

    —  the running of the pool and gym area: net costs of £275,000 per year. This would account for, say, 20,000 square feet; and

    —  the letting of the remaining rentable space for uses specified within the overall concept of the project. In stage 1, this rentable space is limited and might be let for £10 per square foot = £15,000 per year. We estimate that 10,000 square feet can be reclaimed in Stage 2 for some sort of use at £30,000 per square foot = £30,000 a year. Overall, that would mean 30,000 square feet out of 44,000 square feet are in some form of use prior to rebuilding. (Note: Office accommodation in South Hackney is currently @ £16 per square foot, rising now to £23 per square foot.)

  18.4  After rebuilding, these simple propositions change as follows:

    —  the expanded pool/fitness suites might now cover 30,000 square feet and have reduced costs; and

    —  there will be 40,000 square feet of good quality space for other developments, including rental. Different uses will afford different rents, but if we took £7.50 per square foot as a norm, 66 per cent paying occupancy would give us £200,000 per year.

  18.5  Annex 1 gives details of the costing, revenue and capital, for Haggerston Baths as the hub and Appendix 6 [not printed] for the provisional spoke activities. The Baths costings include details of the Council's actual running costs prior to the Bath's closure in February 2000.

19.  Fund-raising

  19.1  A fund-raising strategy is being developed for the capital costs and potentially subsidised activities. This will focus on six elements:

    —  link to an existing leisure facilities management company;

    —  bringing together potential supporters to cover: property development, power providers, health/fitness specialists, and heritage;

    —  links with City companies with traditional links with Shoreditch;

    —  target relevant companies (eg Thames Water, Powergen) for gifts in kind;

    —  investigate landfill tax funding re environmental aspects; and

    —  develop a continuing relationship with major Trusts.

  19.2  Income generation activities within the Haggerston Baths hub itself are:

  19.2.1  Core activities:

    —  swimming: fees, school swimming, pool hire;

    —  gym and exercise, yoga etc classes: fees;

    —  health suites: hire for personal training, private classes;

    —  sauna, solarium fees;

    —  complimentary therapies: either rent of treatment rooms, or possible employ and have fees;

    —  children's play area/cre"che; and

    —  NHS use rental.

  19.2.2  Trading activities:

    —  café;

    —  vending machine;

    —  one stop shop—sports goods, art and craft materials and goods, on line, mail order, magazines and books, healthy snacks; and

    —  community launderette.

  19.2.3  Club membership:

    —  link to SHOX card; and

    —  new leisure card to cover use of all main activities.

  19.2.4  Space rental, including the flat:

    —  performance space;

    —  for film or location hire;

    —  meeting/training/conference rooms; and

    —  private functions.


StageAction When and who
Stage 1Approve Business Plan.
Negotiations with LBH.
Agree arrangements.
August 2000.
August-September 2000.
Stage 2Essential maintenance repairs to enable baths and fitness suites to re-open, eg clearing gutters.
Council estimate of @ £350.000.
Work starts in September for two months. HBC to do before handover.
Baths re-open in November 2000.
Stage 3New initiatives: café and shop, plus rent of space for low value miscellaneous uses. January 2001.
Stage 4Design work and firm up service provision and management arrangements. Include environmental plans. Fund-raising starts, including bid to NOF. Start September by SNDT. Anticipate at least six months.
Marketing campaign planned in 2000. NOF bid December 2000. Fund-raising starts in December 2001.
Stage 5Development work takes place on building. 2002.

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