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Aquabatix

photo Brian Slater



"Every year we are a step closer to the full restoration of Victoria Baths"

Gill Wright, project manager, Victoria Baths Trust

Restoration News

Restoration Celebrations
 
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.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I swim at Victoria Baths?

    It is not possible to swim at Victoria Baths now, but it is the aim of the Trust to fully restore the building and bring at least one swimming pool back into public use.
  • When will the baths re-open as a functional public pool?

    We can't yet be sure of the timescale for re-opening the pool. It is a huge challenge, not simply because of the large amount of capital required to restore the pool to working order but also because an operating pool will almost certainly require ongoing public subsidy.
  • Where is Victoria Baths?

    Victoria Baths is on Hathersage Road which is a couple of miles south of Mancheser City Centre in an area called Chorlton-on-Medlock. It is in the ward of Ardwick but also close to Longsight and to Rusholme, famous for its Curry Mile. Manchester Royal Infirmary is nearby and the Universities quite close too.
  • Can I hire Victoria Baths for an event?

    Yes, it is quite possible to hire Victoria Baths. Check out our Venue Hire pages for more information
  • When did the baths close?

    Victoria Baths closed on 13th March 1993. It was boarded up and little was done to the building for a number of years though the Friends ensured the building wasn't totally neglected or forgotten. Every year there was at least one open day and the Friends carried out lots of clearing and cleaning work long before actual restoration work was carried out.
  • When is Victoria Baths open?

    Public events at Victoria Baths take place from April to October each year with the last Open Day being the first Sunday in November. The building is unheated so it is not practical to hold public events in the colder months though we still faciltiate some private hires then.
  • How has the restoration been funded?

    There has been over £5m spent on the restoration of Victoria Baths so far. The largest amount - £3m - has come from Heritage Lottery Fund as a result of the Restoration win in 2003. English Heritage have also provided several large grants including the first capital grant for work to the building in 2002. Many other grant giving bodies have made contributions and the public have raised over half a million pounds towards the restoration work too - through the viewer vote on Restoration and by contributions to the Trust's Building Fund.
  • Who owns Victoria Baths

    Victoria Baths is owned by Manchester City Council. It is managed on their behalf by the Victoria Baths Trust.
  • Has Victoria Baths been used for TV filming?

    Yes - Victoria Baths has been used many times for filming TV dramas. Scenes for Cracker and Prime Suspect 5 were filmed here in the 1990's and recent programmes have included Life on Mars, the Antiques Road Show, Floggit, Bedlam, Eric and Ernie and many more....
 

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