Manchester’s Victoria Baths – a feasibility study for a much-loved heritage building

Splendid interior of Manchester's Victoria Baths

Lots of people know about Manchester’s Victoria Baths – partly because they were the first winner of Griff Rhys Jones’ Restoration TV programme. But Blue Sail’s own Mancunian director Graham has more than a passing interest. He used to swim there as a boy.

That was before he became something of a heritage expert himself of course.  And quite a while before the Baths closed in 1993.  So when we got the chance to help sort out the future of the splendid Edwardian pools and Turkish baths – known locally as Manchester’s “water palace” – Graham dived right in (so to speak).

The Trust that’s now looking after the building has used the TV win to secure it so that it’s structurally sound.  They’ve turned it into a popular events venue – for weddings, conferences, auctions and fairs.  But there is no water in the water palace.

Back in its hey day, there were several baths – a first-class males’, second-class males’, ladies’, and Turkish Baths.  All in ornate surroundings including some marvellous stained glass.  The Trust asked Blue Sail to look at how they could bring at least some of the pools back into use – and how that could stack up financially.  We worked with our partners FMG Consulting (who specialise in sports and leisure) and have found a way forward.

Now Graham’s optimistic he’ll be back there for a swim in the not-too-distant future …

Latest Tweets

Been doing some research with Gen Z about their attitudes to holidays - UK is firmly off the radar except for visiting friends and events
22 June 2017

"In search of adventure & a different kind of sky": evocative audio portrait of Kent's Isle of Thanet @VisitThanet https://t.co/IdoqqPEMvX
21 June 2017

Potential new funding source? Airbnb introduces €5m Community Tourism Programme @Airbnb @AirbnbCitizen https://t.co/khQjS2rnq0 via @AM2jobs
19 June 2017

.@DCMS shakeup sees John Glen appointed to oversee arts, heritage and tourism @JohnGlenUK https://t.co/vCADAZZkMy via @AM2jobs
19 June 2017

The National Forest is recruiting https://t.co/y4v4RvPNpf Great opportunity.
16 June 2017

See bluesailviews on Twitter