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Victoria Baths will reopen as a swimming pool for the first time in three years

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 4th July 2022

Manchester landmark Victoria Baths is set to open as a swimming pool again this year.

The beautiful building hasn’t hosted a swimming session in three years but is planning a bumper event to make up for lost time.

The Big Splash will take place in September, complete with supper clubs, fancy dress and giant inflatables.

The Gala Pool at Victoria Baths dates back to 1906 but closed as a swimming baths in 1993.

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Victoria Baths will reopen for a swimming event this September. Credit: Steve Allen

To refill and heat the pool now takes 96 hours, or four days, requiring the equivalent of 1500 baths-worth of water.

Surrounding the Grade II-listed pool itself are 45 individual changing cubicles.

The Big Splash is the heritage venue’s biggest fundraising event of the year and all money raised from the swim tickets goes to protecting the building’s future.

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For three days only, visitors will have a chance to see the space as it once was, thanks to United Utilities and a team of volunteers.

On the Friday night, there’ll be the chance to have a swim, then join in with a three-course supper club in one of the other former pools, hosted by The Sri Lankan Experience.

Tickets for the swim and supper club event cost £45.

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On the Saturday and Sunday, there will be lane swimming between 8am and 9am (£16 a session), with hot drinks and pastries served in the Tea Room.

Read more: Manchester archaeologists carry out dig at 5,000-year-old tomb linked to King Arthur

Then the pool floats, including the Victoria Baths pink flamingos, will be back out from 9.30am until 4.15pm.

Elsewhere in the building there’ll be guided tours, exhibitions, access to the viewing gallery, choir performances, a kids’ art trail, a ‘Make, Do and Disco’ event, and talks.

Hip Hop Chip Shop will rock up with their food truck too.

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The Big Splash will take place on 9, 10 and 11 September. Tickets go on sale at 11am on Tuesday 5 July. Visit www.victoriabaths.org.uk for more information.

Featured image: Steve Allen