A reception hosted at Manchester Town Hall  by Sir Howard Bernstein and Deputy Council Leader Councillor Bernard Priest has given the city’s business leaders the opportunity to discover the details of Victoria Baths Trust’s plans to restore and reopen the historic pool’s Turkish Baths. 

Sir Howard also used the occasion to recognise the work and achievements of the Trust, made with the support of the community. 

Councillor Bernard Priest, who is also a local Councillor for the Ardwick ward where the Baths are located, spoke of the important role that Victoria Baths plays in Manchester, encouraging support for the work that Victoria Baths Trust is doing to secure the future of the Grade II listed building.

Sir Howard Bernstein says, “Manchester is continuing to grow and develop thanks to individuals, groups and businesses that passionately believe in the city. Victoria Baths Trust is an outstanding example of how much can be achieved when a community gets behind a project and won’t give up. They have raised £5m to date and ensured that Victoria Baths is preserved. The next step will be even more beneficial – the re-opening of the Turkish Baths will provide a unique offer to Manchester residents and visitors and will contribute to the city’s reputation as a world class destination. I fully support the Trust in their plans for Restoration Phase 2.” 

Restoration Phase 2 will include the creation of a Health Suite and residential accommodation as well as the restoration of the unique Turkish Baths suite. The vision is for all of the original tiling, marble slabs and ceramic ceilings of the Turkish Baths to be preserved so that the public can once again enjoy the authentic experience as conceived by the building’s architect Henry Price when Victoria Baths first opened its doors in 1906.

Restoration Phase 2 follows the success of the Trust’s earlier work to restore the front block of the building, carry out structural repairs to the Turkish Baths and to replace the roof of the Gala Pool. The Trust has also been painstakingly restoring each of the beautiful stained glass panels found throughout the building. In preparation for Restoration Phase 2, the Trust has appointed Fusion Lifestyle as the leisure operator, and in December 2016 a bid was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Heritage Enterprise Scheme. The decision on whether lottery funding has been secured is expected in spring. 

Jill Earnshaw, chair of Victoria Baths Trust, says, “Victoria Baths faces a positive future thanks to the dedication of the Victoria Baths team, volunteers, Friends of Victoria Baths and the community, and it is wonderful that Sir Howard has recognised this. We are also delighted that he shares our vision to restore and bring back into use the Turkish Baths as the next stage on Victoria Bath’s path towards restoration, and are grateful for the opportunity he has given us to share this with the city’s business leaders.”


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