The Framing Workshop has put the Cleveland Pools Trust in the picture after agreeing to fund its green travel plan.
Martin Tracy, from the Walcot Street business in Bath, is supporting the bid to restore the historic pools and the plan is an essential part of the drive to move forward.
The Cleveland Pools in a secluded spot by the River Avon in Bathwick were opened in 1815, fed by the river itself, on a site transformed from open gardens to public pleasure baths and funded by subscriptions from a number of well-to-do families and city gentlemen, including the mayor.
Now, almost 200 years later, the unoccupied site once more needs the support of the community if the group formed to save it from dereliction is to achieve its goal of restoring the pools for public use.
This summer, the Cleveland Pools Trust unveiled its £3 million vision at a launch event held at the Bath Spa Hotel.
The plans include restoring the Georgian pool to provide swimming in a naturally treated, heated pool, a children’s splash pool, cafe and landing stage for people arriving by boat. The Bath stone cubicles and cottage will be conserved, while the upper Victorian pool will be covered to provide space for events and the Ladies’ Pool area will be used for heritage and educational activities.
Ann Dunlop, from the CPT, said: “The Green Travel Plan will be a valuable addition to future funding applications as well as being a requisite for planning permissions.
“We are thrilled that Martin is supporting the Trust’s efforts to restore this unique historic gem; we are hoping other businesses will come on board too and help us bring back a vitally important open air swimming facility for the local community and visitors to our city.”
Martin said: “When I moved to Bath in the mid 80s, the Cleveland Pool had just been closed to swimmers; but you could buy trout for the years that the pools were used as a trout farm.
“Even now, in the sorry state the pools are in, when I do visit I am reminded of a childhood spent swimming in wild pools and streams in places like Malaysia.
“As a keen and for a while a competitive swimmer and Water Polo player – I managed to win three Army swimming medals – as well as being a qualified RLSS life saver, I can see the huge attraction and benefits for the young and not so young of Bath, if the Cleveland Pools were to be re-furbished.
“In becoming a sponsor my business is able to play its part in this admirable project, whilst being pro-active in contributing to the community.
“I am extremely proud to be able to do so and long to be one of the first to submerge myself where many generations have been before and will go on doing so.”
The Grade II* listed Georgian baths are registered as a “building at risk” by English Heritage and by Bath and North East Somerset Council. English Heritage have recently funded Urgent Works to halt the decay and CPT value their support and that of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust.