Withington Baths interior with pool and refurbished roof. Light reflects in pool water.

Withington Baths secures £105K Sport England grant

  • Withington Baths receives 105K grant
  • Reintroduction of pool cover announced
  • Advanced boilers to replace outdated models

Withington Baths has received a £105K grant from Sport England, as LOVE Withington Baths announces plans to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

It comes following Withington Baths’ two year refurbishment which reopened to the public on March 6th last year.

Now LOVE Withington Baths, the non-profit organisation that runs Withington Baths and its co-working space Withington Works, will further enhance its energy efficiency using the grant.

Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability initiatives that have been completed in recent years include: The addition of double glazing to the new roof windows over the pool and both studios, and the installation of an air control unit.

Outside Withington Baths entrance, with its original arches still in tact.
Withington Baths is thriving following its refurbishment that was complete a year ago. Credit: Thomas Why

Since the organisation’s take-over of the leisure centre in 2015, LOVE Withington Baths have been dedicated to implementing new ways of being sustainable and energy efficient.

“Winning the grant represents a significant step forward in our journey towards sustainability.”

Managing Director of Withington Baths, Paul Smith

Now Withington Baths are setting out to reduce carbon emissions through two more projects.

The first will see a reintroduction of a pool cover to sustain the pool’s temperature overnight, following the original being damaged over a decade ago. This will reduce CO2 emissions by an additional seven tonnes per year.

Withington Baths interior with pool and refurbished roof. Light reflects in pool water.
Refurbished interior with pool, renovated roof, and original changing rooms still in use. Credit: Withington Baths

The other initiative will introduce highly developed boilers to replace outdated models from 1995. These are currently non-condensing boilers, so the switch is expected to decrease carbon emissions by 24 tonnes of CO2 per year (approximately 30 per cent.)

Managing Director of Withington Baths, Paul Smith said: “Winning the grant represents a significant step forward in our journey towards sustainability. Not only will it help us to further contribute to a greener environment, but it will also result in substantial cost savings on energy bills, enabling us to allocate more resources to further restoration projects and facility improvements.

“Looking further ahead, Love Withington Baths is committed to exploring additional opportunities for carbon footprint reduction through the integration of renewable technologies,” he added.

Withington Baths Refurbishment

10 years ago, the council threatened to close Withington Leisure Centre, alongside other pools in Greater Manchester, in a bid to save £80 million.

Black and white photo of how Withington Baths appeared in 1913 with original balcony above pool.
Photograph of baths when they originally opened in 1913. Credit: Withington Baths

While other pools in the area closed, including Levenshulme, the Withington Community set up Love Withington Baths to protest its closure. After battling for two years, the group saved it and took over its operations in 2015.

After receiving a £1 million investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Baths underwent a restoration and refurbishment.

The refurbishment allowed for the baths to have a new sense of life while still staying true to its original design from 1913.

Original wooden changing rooms at side of the pool still in use.
Original wooden changing rooms at sides of pool are still in use today. Credit: Withington Baths

The restoration included new stained glass windows, new coping stones, a refurbished roof, two new glazed roof lights popping up from the studios and all the front doors stripped and repainted in the original 1913 dark green colour. 

Withington Baths is now the last remaining Edwardian pool in Manchester and Love Withington Baths continue to have big plans for the centre.

Once threatened with shut down, it is clear Withington Baths is only going to continue to grow.