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First phase of Bristol North Baths project nears completion

Building work on the new Bishopston Library is nearing completion, bringing the first phase of the Bristol North Baths project to a close.
 
The remaining new build construction at the former swimming baths on Gloucester Road is due to finish later this month when contractors, CW Duke, will hand over the site to Bristol City Council, leaving a new library ready to be fitted out and ten apartments for their new owners.
 
The Cheltenham Road library will close to the public on 27 February so the book stock and the remaining equipment and furnishings for the new building can be transferred to the new library before it opens in spring. 
 
Sales have been agreed with ten apartment purchasers and these transactions are now progressing towards completion.
 
The next stage of the project focuses on finishing off the internal reconfiguration and refurbishment of the former swimming pool, including discussions with tenants for the new space.
 
Cllr Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Place at Bristol City Council, said: “We are now reaching some critical stages in this challenging and delayed project. The problems have been well documented but I’m pleased to say that the scheme continues to progress well since Bristol City Council took back control in November 2015. The end is very much in sight and our contractors are working towards the final refurbishment stage. We’re extremely grateful to the local community for their patience throughout this project so far.”
 
Work on the Bristol North Baths project resumed in July last year after Bristol City Council appointed a new contractor to complete it. In November 2015, the council terminated its agreement with developer Chatsworth Homes after a series of delays with the project, which was initially due to be finished by October 2013.
 
Multiple contractors had previously worked on different elements of the construction prior to the intervention of the Council and it has taken time to identify and interview each of them to ensure the council had full access to design and construction records. This process was delayed after Chatsworth Homes went into voluntarily administration.
 
The former library building in Cheltenham Road has been sold to a developer with planning consent to build flats. The estimated capital value of the completed scheme is expected to cover the cost of the works with no extra cost to the taxpayer. Any net financial surplus from the project will be allocated to the council’s affordable housing budget.