Withington baths is having a big impact on the neighbourhood and on residents’ lives

  • Withington baths and leisure centre was taken over by the Withington community in 2015
  • Centre managed to create new jobs, a co-working space and establish 65 different sports classes

Withington Baths and Leisure Centre is an institute which has served the public for more 100 years. 

First opened in 1911, it was the only baths in the UK which allowed both men and women to visit at the same time.

”However, they had to enter separate doors,” said Natalie Jones, the duty manager. 

The baths very much shaped the identity of Withington and Didsbury as it served a wide variety of residents. The elderly, families and students – everyone was and still is welcome at the centre.

A few years ago, the council decided to close the centre due to austerity cuts. However, the Withington community took the matter into their own hands and decided to run the centre independently. 

In our documentary, the Northern Quota looks at what impact the community facility has on the Withington neighbourhood. The outcome was surprising. 

The centre not only serves as a sport and leisure facility, but mainly brings the community together. As the locals mentioned in the interview – it is simply a “happy place”. 

More below on the impact the baths has made: