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Gill Wright

Photo: Aidan O'Rourke


Restoration

The Gill Wright Memorial Fund

Gill Wright was a remarkable woman. Her commitment to the restoration of Victoria Baths began after the Baths’ closure in 1993 and continued until her retirement in 2020. 

Gill oversaw Victoria Baths’ win on the BBC’s 2003 Restoration programme, with a resounding public vote. She project-managed our most significant restoration projects, including the front section of the building, the Gala Pool roof and the stained glass windows. She encouraged artists into the building to take inspiration from the architecture, décor, atmosphere, and history. Gill was a knowledgeable Tour Guide, leading groups around the building with enthusiasm and encouraging them to become involved by joining the Friends or volunteering at the Baths. She also played an active role in the Victoria Baths History Group, spending many an afternoon archiving documents, photographs and artefacts and researching swimmers and other people associated with the Baths. Gill never stopped fundraising.

Gill was diagnosed with cancer in early 2020 and, after a period of treatment, she entered a hospice and died in March 2021. Gill is sadly missed by many, many people, including her friends and colleagues at Victoria Baths and the wider world of historic pools and lidos.

In memory of Gill

We have given very careful consideration to how best to mark Gill’s considerable contribution to Victoria Baths, whilst taking into account the wishes of her family. We have established a new Fund at Victoria Baths Trust in Gill’s name, as a continuing memorial to her. The Gill Wright Memorial Fund is now accepting donations in her memory and is restricted for use for activities and projects at Victoria Baths which were close to Gill’s heart, these are:

Restoration, Community Arts and History

Suitable projects for the Fund’s support will be approved by the Victoria Baths Trust Board. 

How to give 

You can download a donation form through the Links at the bottom of this page and send us the completed form with your payment (cheque, bank transfer, standing order or credit card) at any time. You can download a full information sheet too. If you have any questions please ring 0161 224 2020 and ask for Gwyneth Brock, our Engagement Manager or email gwyneth@victoriabaths.org.uk

Thank you to all those who have supported the new Fund

Including Lynette Cawthra, Nan Collantine, Jennifer Dowson, Nicola Hayek, George Kinder, Malcolm Shifrin and all those donors who prefer to remain anonymous. 

 


 

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 the National Lottery Heritage Fund as a result of us winning the BBC's Restoration programme in 2003.

The building operates as an events space and heritage attraction with 30,000 visitors each year coming for beer festivals, art exhibitions, music events, vintage fairs, cinema nights and much more.  

See Our Story for the major restoration work we have completed since 2002. 

 
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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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