A former vicar has been arrested by police investigating claims that £1.7 million went missing from a major Birmingham regeneration project.
Canon David Collyer was detained on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position at his home in Bournville on Wednesday and later released on bail.
West Midlands Police officers were called in last year by the Nechells Regeneration Project (NRP), which managed the four-year, £5 million restoration of Nechells Baths.
Det Sgt Jonathan Jones, of West Midlands Police, said: “On Wednesday August 22, detectives from the force’s Economic Crime Unit arrested a 74-year-old man from his home in Bournville on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position.
"The man has since been released on police bail pending further inquiries.”
The investigation followed a dispute between Mr Collyer and prominent Midland businessmen Tim Watts and David Bucknall.
Mr Collyer used to chair an organisation called Midland Regen, which was established specifically for the Nechells baths project.
It sat within an umbrella charity called Birmingham Foundation, of which Mr Watts and Mr Bucknall were in charge.
A statement from the NRP last year said: “Nechells Regeneration Project has asked West Midlands Police to look into the disappearance of approximately £1.7 million in funds during the period when operating company Midland Regen was chaired by Canon David Collyer.”
Nechells Baths, in Nechells Park Road, Nechells, was part of a Birmingham-wide network of public baths and wash-houses when it opened in 1910.
But the Grade II listed building fell into disrepair and was closed in 1995 because it failed to compete with the city’s more modern, energy-efficient leisure centres. It was later restored to its former glory and celebrated its 100th anniversary two years ago.
Mr Collyer is also a former treasurer of Birmingham Cathedral.