Great to see the Grade II* listed Victoria Baths in Manchester open to the public even if it’s just for one day only (Sunday May 14). Since being closed down in 1993 by Manchester City Council, the Baths, which were originally opened in 1906, have been the subject of an extensive refurbishment programme.
After winning the first series of the BBC’s Restoration TV programme, fronted by Griff Rhys Jones, back in 2003, they were awarded £3.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. However, total repairs which include the splendid Turkish Baths as well as the main Gallery pool are still ongoing and are expected to cost well in excess of £6 million. They are now managed by the Victoria Baths Trust.
I visited the Baths for a photoshoot back in 2007 (see below) and was blown away by their outstanding beauty, particularly some of the amazing stained glass – see below.
Although the Victoria Baths haven’t been open to the public for 24 years, the main pool is occasionally filled and heated and the venue is regularly hired out for filming, concerts and exhibitions.
Tickets for this special one-off opening cost £15 and go on sale at midday on Wednesday, April 12 at victoriabaths.eventbrite.co.uk
Images: courtesy of Geoff Crawford, https://www.facebook.com/mediagnc/.