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Victoria Baths Trust stands with the Black Lives Matter movement

30 Jun 2020

Categories: New blog

This beautiful building was created for all people in Manchester; from all classes and backgrounds. When it opened in 1906, Victoria Baths was described as "a water palace of which every citizen of Manchester can be proud." Throughout the years, People of Colour enjoyed its facilities, improved their health and wellbeing, and made memories together. Mancunians from all communities fought to save this building; protesting at the Town Hall, lobbying councillors and marching in the streets. If it wasn’t for protest, Victoria Baths would not still be standing. Today, tens of thousands of people from across the globe visit, donate and volunteer each year, and to ensure its story can be told for many more generations. 

Recently, our focus has been on securing the future of this building in light of the COVID-19 crisis. However, we are now able to turn our attention to how we can take meaningful action to ensure a long term commitment to social change. Once we are able to access our Archives again we will celebrate and shine a light on individuals from diverse backgrounds and marginalised communities, who swam, campaigned, and continue to keep this building alive, through our social media channels and temporary displays. 

We will also develop an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy which reflects current best practice. Our staff on furlough are taking the opportunity to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement, and consider how they can personally promote inclusivity in all aspects of our business, from suppliers to volunteers and our events programme.  We welcome ideas for more we can do. As another great Mancunian put it: deeds not words. 

This is our statement, commitment and promise. Victoria Baths still exists because of the power of protest. Victoria Baths exists for all of the people of Manchester.  And we want to ensure everyone feels welcome and valued when they visit us. Thank you for continuing to support the Baths, and we hope to see you all back in the building soon.