City councillors voted unanimously last night to adopt a two-pronged approach in their attempts to maintain the Grade II listed building for public use.
Their bid to prevent the site being sold for private development received a major boost last week.
This gives the local community six months to put together a bid to buy the building.
Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development, will be invited to meet with the city council at the earliest opportunity to discuss matters.
In tandem with this, consultants will be invited to submit expressions of interest for drawing up a business plan and development brief looking at options for the building, which is part of the city’s Spa Quarter.
At last night’s meeting, city council leader Andrew Williams, said:
“Harrogate Borough Council was attempting to plough on with its plan to sell Spa Baths without any proper consultation.
“However, we now need to draw a line under this and move forward in a constructive partnership with them to decide what’s best for Ripon and the future of this city, with its growing population.
“Cllr Swift has indicated his willingness to meet with us and we welcome this and hope the meeting can be arranged as soon as possible.”
The 116-year-old Edwardian spa, whose use was converted to a public swimming pool in 1936, was put up for sale for an undisclosed price by Harrogate Borough Council in February.
It was deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ with a new swimming pool scheduled to open at Camp Close, off Dallamires Lane in November.
At last night’s meeting, Councillor Pauline McHardy, said:
“It’s sensible for us to have two strings to our bow — six months can quickly pass by and we need to act now.”
A number of potential community uses for the building have already been put forward by members of the public and Councillor Stephen Craggs, added:
“Future use of the building should take into consideration the needs of young people in the city.”