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Town Hall go-ahead to reopen Poplar Baths—after 22 years

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:42 05 October 2010

Swimming pool and (inset) the front of Poplar Baths

Swimming pool and (inset) the front of Poplar Baths

CAMPAIGNERS have won the battle to get an old Victorian public baths spruced up in London’s East End to get it back into use. Sister Christine Frost has been trying to get the local council interested in reopening Poplar Baths built in 1852 which has been shut 22 years

By Mike Brooke

CAMPAIGNERS have won the battle to get an old Victorian public baths spruced up in London's East End to get it back into use.

Sister Christine Frost has been trying to get Tower Hamlets council interested in reopening Poplar Baths built in 1852 which has been shut for 22 years.

She helped set up the Poplar Baths steering group which finally persuaded the council's cabinet meeting to give the go-ahead to £15 million project.

"We shouldn't count our chickens until after the local elections," a cautious Sister Christine told the East London Advertiser this-evening.

"It's great they've given the go-ahead, as long as they don't renege on the promises they made.

"Now the community must work together to ensure the project remains for local people."

The cabinet agreed on Wednesday to restore the much-loved building in East India Dock Road as a modern leisure centre that already has a swimming pool built in, although that is being converted into a sports hall. A new 75ft pool is planned, as well as a gymnasium, small dance studio and changing facilities.

The cost of restoration is slightly cheaper than building a new complex, the Town Hall points out.

Work has already started on making the structure safe before the restoration begins.

The Grade II-listed building originally opened in 1852 to provide public wash facilities for the East End's poor, as a result of the Baths & Wash-Houses Acts of 1846.

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