MAINDEE Baths is set to get a new lease of life as its owners plan to turn it into a hub for the community.
The grade II listed building has been plagued by vandalism since its closed but this week work had started of clearing some of the debris and rubble from inside the former Newport swimming pool.
Kay and Gary Gassor bought Maindee Baths for £56,000 in December with the intention of turning it into a focal point for the community.
The couple want it to be used by the whole community and set up a committee to collect ideas from local people about what it should be used for.
They said they had received a lot of support from local residents including letters thanking them for trying to sort something out.
Mr and Mrs Gassor, who run the Martial Arts and Fitness Centre on nearby Chepstow Road, have set up a committee and want to collect ideas from the local community about what it should be used for.
A page on the social networking site Facebook was set up to help and already has more than 4,000 members.
Mrs Gassor said some residents and local firms had offered their services for the project free of charge.
Suggestions on the Facebook page include a comedy store type venue, skate park, soft play area, physiotherapy room, yoga hall and hydrotherapy pool.
One member wrote: “I think the idea that it will be open for all and a place that everyone can get something out of is fab.”
The Victoria Avenue building was closed by Newport City Council when it became clear it would cost millions of pounds to restore.
The council itself explored the idea of turning it into a community centre as well as other potential developments but they all proved fruitless.
Some of the rubble inside the building started to be removed last Thursday to make the building safer.
This included the gym which had been wrecked by fire.
Mrs Gassor said: “You can see the difference already. Every time I come here I find new rooms I didn’t know were there.”
Taken from South Wales Argus – June 2010