photo Brian Slater
"Every year we are a step closer to the full restoration of Victoria Baths"
Gill Wright, project manager, Victoria Baths Trust
On Wednesday 4 September invited guests, a talented group of synchronised swimmers and representatives of historic swimming pools up and down the country assembled at Victoria Baths to mark the tenth anniversary of us winning the BBC Restoration programme.
This very special event was attended by representatives of English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Amateur Swimmig Association, Sport England and Manchester City Council who joined over 100 volunteers, friends, supporters and trustees of the Baths in celebration of our many achievements to date.
Since 2003 more than £5m has been spent restoring the frontage of the building, stained glass windows and the roof of the gala pool.
The occasion also saw the latest window officially unveiled by Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell. The colourful ‘AQUA’ window in the gala pool hall has been created by Bolton glass specialist Design Lights and includes 493 individual pieces of glass set into 12 panels.
The cost of the window was entirely covered by public donations to our on-going Stained Glass Appeal. We have also reinstated the seven Lilies windows in the Gala pool, all paid for by generous individual donors.
The pool was filled with 86,000 gallons of water for the 4th September event and a turn by well-known synchronised swimming group Aquabatix dazzled the assembled crowds - the talented troupe have performed all over the world and London 2012 competitors Katie Dawkins and Katie Skelton feature amongst their ranks.
Gill Wright, Project Manager of the Victoria Baths Trust said on the day: “Seeing the gala pool filled again has reignited the excitement around the baths and our vision for the future. Had we not won BBC Restoration ten years ago, we would never have been able to achieve what we have. There’s still a long way to go but we are absolutely determined to succeed in our mission to reopen at least one pool and the Turkish Baths.”
We would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support – United Utilities, Fido PR, Aquabatix, James Hickman and Speedo International and Jonathan Schofield.
We’ve been selling tickets for a special celebratory raffle (all proceeds go to our Stained Glass Appeal) from Sunday 1 September until the end of the season, prizes include a stained glass panel, 'tile' print cushions, VB history tour tickets and more!
You can read more about our key restoration milestones over the last two decades here.
You can read more about the life and times of VB from conception in 1987 to opening in 1906 through to closure in 1993 in our history section.