Stunning Greater Manchester pool saved from closure celebrates 8th birthday with huge knees up

Withington Baths celebrated its 8th birthday after being restored to its former glory by a group of local conservationists last week.

South Manchester swimming pool and leisure centre, Withington Baths, celebrated its 8th birthday last weekend, marking eight years since a group of local residents (the Love Withington Baths Group) battled for two years to save it from closure.

Withington Baths

Withington Baths has since become a thriving community hub, receiving a one-million-pound investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore the Baths to its former glory.

On Saturday, the Love Withington Baths Group invited the local community to enjoy the newly restored leisure centre with an afternoon of fun, food, and drinks.

As part of the celebrations, a barbecue and bar was provided by local business Burton Road Brewery.

Free face painting for kids and a children’s entertainer also provided family entertainment, which was a great opportunity for both members and non-members to enjoy the completion of the latest phase of restoration and celebrate the community.

Withington Baths historic roof

The most notable restoration of this phase of renovations was the swimming pool’s iconic roof, which boasts views of the sky above and brings natural light into the pool hall, featuring the same glazing system originally installed when Withington Baths was built in 1913.

A detail of the roofing at Withington Baths and Leisure Centre: Credit Wilkinson Photography

Withington Baths stained-glass windows

Another highly anticipated element of the restoration project was the stained-glass windows.

The Love Withington Baths Group collaborated with a local artist who designed a new concept for their signature stained-glass window in the pool hall, encapsulating the project’s spirit of heritage and regeneration, the city of Manchester and the Withington community.

Paul Smith, Managing Director of Withington Baths commented: “Our 8th birthday celebrations were a huge success, we really enjoyed celebrating the progress we’ve made since the takeover in 2013.

The restoration project means so much to us as an organisation, and we’re thrilled to see what a positive impact it has had on our community already.

National Heritage Lottery Fund grant

“The restoration was all made possible thanks to The National Heritage Lottery Fund grant, a loan from Manchester City Council and support from the local community.

“Through the good times and the tough, it’s the local community that has always been there for us. Now, because of them, we can continue to serve our community as a not-for-profit hub where generations learn to swim and enjoy a range of gym and leisure facilities alongside their community members.”

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