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When Manchester City Council decided it had to close Victoria Baths in 1993, there was a vigourous reaction in the local community. Manchester residents greatly valued the Turkish baths, the Aeratone, the swimming facilities, and the building itself.
The campaign to try and prevent closure of the Baths became the Friends of Victoria Baths and a charitable trust - the Victoria Baths Trust - was set up with the aim of fully restoring the building and bringing the Turkish Baths and at least one of the swimming pools back into public use.
Our story has many ups and downs, including the amazing success on BBC's Restoration series in 2003.
Now the building is partially restored we continue to work towards full restoration. Click on the timeline below to see how far we have come since 1993.
You can download our latest newsletter on the link below.
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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 BathsVictoria 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....