Date Published 28 September 2015
For the past 15 years the Haggerston Baths in Hackney has been boarded up. A once thriving former school-come-swimming-baths where speedo-clad amphibians would leech to for a chlorine fix has been forgotten about by everybody except graffiti artists, dedicated campaigners and squatters.
So then, it may come as a pleasant surprise that the Haggerston Baths are getting a makeover, with speculation rife as to what the site will be. The Grade II listed building, unveiled in 1904, was initially closed as the council could no longer afford to maintain its upkeep. It is in desperate need for some love and care (and a decent paint job), but Hackney Council have now called for potential ideas as for what the Haggerston Baths will be home to.
There is talk that it may be converted into a luxury, modern hotel with all the nonsensical bells and whistles that a 21st century existence comes hand in hand with. Other possibilities include an arts venue, office space, a brewery, flats, or just giving the existing swimming pool skeleton a complete overhaul (to the sheer delight of pressure group Save Haggerston Pool, who have been campaigning since Haggerston shut its doors in 2000).
The existing structure is costing Hackney Council a staggering £100,000 a year in security and maintenance costs and the refurbishment project is estimated to be in the region of £25 million, meaning that finding a potential suitor to take on the project may take longer than expected. If you have a burning desire to convert Hagerstown into something and a healthy sum of spare cash lying around then you can make a suggestion to Hackney Council at a meeting on October 8th.