One of the old Lilies window frame
photo Martin Connor
"Every year we are a step closer to the full restoration of Victoria Baths"
Gill Wright, Project Development Manager, Victoria Baths Trust
Victoria Baths Today
Victoria Baths has been partially restored, thanks to £5m in total which has been raised from a number of sources, by far the biggest being a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund which came to Victoria Baths as a result of us winning BBC's Restoration programme in 2003.
The building operates as a heritage visitor attraction and events venue with around 30,000 visitors each year. But this is just the start of our restoration journey. Our vision is to fully restore the building, bringing public leisure facilties back into use, starting with the Turkish Baths.
Our long-term aim is to have public swimming at Victoria Baths. Today we can just do this on one-off occasions.
Lottery Fund says "no", but...
Victoria Baths Trust has received the news from Heritage Lottery Fund that the bid which it submitted in December 2016 for funding to support the restoration of the Turkish Baths has been unsuccessful. This decision is hugely disappointing, but it is a set-back, not a conclusion, to the Trust’s plans.
Feedback given on the bid has given us lots to be hopeful about. We have been told that it was a strong submission and that the project went to the board of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) highly recommended. We will have a meeting with HLF in due course for more specific details on this.
So why was it turned down? Well, the board meeting which considered our application had £22.4m to allocate, which is clearly a lot of money. But they had £76.8m worth of bids. So the pot was more than three times oversubscribed and many good bids had to be turned down, including ours.
We are steadfastly determined that we will remain positive as we continue to plan for the future of Victoria Baths. The Trust has an experienced and committed board of Trustees in place and a strong and proven operator for the Turkish Baths, Fusion Lifestyle, who have confirmed that they will continue work with us. We also have a wonderful and dedicated staff and volunteer team working at Victoria Baths and many hundreds of committed supporters.
Some more information is on the download below.
Our Vision for Victoria Baths
Our vision is to establish Victoria Baths as a vibrant international heritage visitor attraction which celebrates the nation’s swimming history in an inspirational setting for events and contemporary arts; promoting health and well-being by restoring the well-loved architectural gem so the public may again experience the Turkish Baths and swim in an historic pool.
You can download our full Vision statement below which also spells out the values which we apply to our project:
- We will re-establish facilities to enhance fitness, health and general well-being
· We will preserve the original fabric of the building enhanced with the best of modern technology
· We will strive for the highest quality of service and public satisfaction
· We aim for financial sustainability and will explore not-for-profit, co-operative models of operation
· We will ensure that Victoria Baths continues to benefit local and wider communities
· We will work with partners, Friends, volunteers and staff to realise this vision
See Our Story for the major work we have completed since 2002.
Our Strategy is to restore Victoria Baths in phases. Our Strategy for Restoration and summary of our plans for Phase 2 can be downloaded below.
Images here show more recent work, restoring our stained glass windows.