We are an independently run facility, supported by our local community. Since re-opening in 2015, we have created a core team of dedicated staff, who completely understand our vision for our community facility. It’s not just fitness we focus on though – we are also developing our outdoor areas, creating a much more pleasant environment for members and visitors. And, we will soon be opening Withington’s very first co-working space to enable our local entrepreneurs and creatives to thrive in a collaborative environment.

Our Community Story

In January 2013, an announcement by Manchester City Council was made to the M20 community of South Manchester that the much loved and much used Withington Baths and Leisure Centre was to be closed with immediate effect, as they could no longer afford to run it. Over 1200 members, many of whom walk to the centre, the elderly, students, families on low incomes and others, had no alternative sports facility usage. The building has been an integral part of the Withington community for over 100 years, essential for the heath and wellbeing of local people.

The community galvanised and joined together in non-political, family-friendly protests and held a march through the streets, signing a petition to Save The Baths and gathering an unprecedented 8000 signatures in just two weeks. We presented this to Sir Richard Leese, City Council Leader, on Valentine’s Day 2013.

The voices of local people shouted loudly and their passion for this important community hub was recognised by local councillors. Manchester City Council listened and made a u-turn, announcing that Withington Baths would stay open until their new £10m sports centre on Princess Parkway was due to be completed in April 2015.

The community & Love Withington Baths think there is an alternative to closure!

A committed core committee was formed and they developed a business plan to ensure the continued trading success of this vital South Manchester asset.

Withington Baths & Leisure Centre is now run by the community, for the community. As a charitable trust all profits are put back into restoring and maintaining the building, pool and grounds ensuring that it is not just surviving but thriving for the next 100 years.

The history of Withington Baths

The foundation stone for Withington Baths is dated 11 November 1911 and for over 100 years the Edwardian building has served the people of Withington and all their public bathing requirements. It was designed by the City architect Henry Price (1867-1944), who also designed Withington Public Library.

Withington Baths back in the day

The Centenary (google.com/site/withingtonareaevents) was held at the Baths on 12 November 2011, with banners, balloons, cake and talks given. Alan Mather, whose father was a manager in the 1930s and 1940s and used to live in the first floor flat above the Baths shared some memories, there was a talk on the engineering history of the Baths and the staff provided cake, with guided tours rounding off the day. Withington Civic Society describe it as “a splendid occasion, a fitting birthday for the Baths and a fine exercise in living history - bringing the past to the present.”

Original Withington Baths drawings

Originally there were two pools at the Baths, a first class and a second class, with the clean water being used first in the former and then the latter! It was, rather saucily, in 1914 the first Baths to allow mixed male and female bathing - very progressive! One hundred years later we celebrated this momentous controversial decision.

Withington Baths mixed bathing centenary

Did you know that in 1915, Withington was described as “Wealthy, a kind of upper-class Olympia, with a rather pronounced air of ‘culture’ and the higher life”?

On New Year’s Eve, 1940, during the Second World War, an air raid shelter directly in front of the baths took a direct hit and seven ARP wardens lost their lives.

Withington Baths interior

There were originally plans for a third pool which was never built and by the 1990s, council cuts meant Pool 1 was drained and boarded over, creating a new gym for community use. Pool 2 has continued to be well used by school, for lessons, by gym users and local swimmers.

Withington Baths Now

Plans for the Baths

As the Baths are run by a charitable trust, every penny that is made goes back into restoring the Baths to its former Edwardian glory and developing the site to be a true community facility for the people of M20.

Having restored the two studios and the pool-side showers, next we will be looking to improve and restore the sauna area. In March 2019, we will also be opening the first co-working space in Withington. Contact Paul on 07850 664064 or email him at paul@lovewithingtonbaths.com for more information.

Recent Awards

Buzz Community Champion Award 2018

Manchester Sports Award 2017

Sporta ‘Social Enterprise Improvement Award’ 2017

Jobs

Managing Director

We are currently looking for a managing director, to provide leadership and oversight to the whole of Withington Baths & Leisure Centre including new developments and transformational projects such as Withington Works.

For more information about the role, please click here.

If you are interested in this position, please apply with a CV and covering letter to dennis@lovewithingtonbaths.com. Deadline for receipt of applications is 10th December 2018.

Duty Manager

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Duty Manager with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in the leisure industry and a proven track record of producing a cohesive and productive team of staff, to enable the smooth running of this unique historic leisure centre.

For more information, please click here.

Friends of Withington Baths

We'd like to publicly say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to the following generous businesses and individuals who supported our endeavours. We really couldn't have done this without you...

COLLABORATORS

Special thanks to the following organisations, who share our passion and vision, and are helping us to make it happen:

BUSINESS FRIENDS

Thank you to the following local independent businesses, who each pledged £100 to help us realise our Big Vision. If you would like to be a business friend, too, please click here:

ABa
Ascendis
JP&Brimelow
Didsbury Catering
The Flower Lounge
Greens Restaurant
Hine Insurance
Key Fund
Link Chiropractic
Manchester Student Homes
The Metropolitan
Montrose Properties
Regional Growth Fund
Simprint
Swimtime
Withington Civic Society

FRIENDS

Thank you to the following people, who have all made individual contributions*, to help us secure the future of our much-loved heritage building. If you would like to be a friend, too, please click here:

Click to expand our friends...

Catherine McCrohan
Rob King
Gareth Davies
Camilla Loxton
Madeleine Reeves
Marian Blaikley
Patricia Cunningham
Amy Glendinning
John McAuliffe
John Leech
Gordon Hindle
Dr Frances Balmer
Andrew Thompson
Lyn Hobson
Joseph Clough
Sian Hira
Lauren Hira
Pete Ruane
Sushila Tyler
Ken Wait
Rachel Pattinson
Clare Elliott
Frances Williams
Alison Hunt
David Ellison
Dominic Sagar
Maggie Fisher
Gordon Lorimer
Howard Newhall
Joanne Jordan
Diane Modahl
Trisha Stevenson
Jenefer Wilson
Mr W. Corlett
Leon Mills
Brian Hood
Tom Gray
Ruth Sutton
Hazel White
Ruth Roberts
Abi Frost
Neil Morse
Blanca Merino
Rachel Fallon
Lida Wagenblast
Catherine Ashmore
Nicola Griffiths
Lesley Beck
Jill Tucker
Ruth Price
Gill Wright
Ben Jones
Sodi Mann
Ciara McAuliffe
Roisin McAuliffe
Mr Slann
Janet Wiseman
Ali Khan
Winston Montrose
Giselle Bate
P. Jones
Ann Knowles
Lesley Bowers
David Bushell
Ste Davison
Richard Holliday
Steve Roman
Mo Bright
Kate Ewings
John Moczulski
David Keegan
Kathy Teale
Said Ben Abdallah
M.J.Bright
David Woodhams
John Nancollis
Alex Miell
Simon Whale
Mark Doyle
Linda Smith
Rachel Marsden
Harriet Monkhouse
Douglas Wroe
Anna Hampson

Branwen McHugh
Jennifer Green
Milan Shah
Louise Hargan
Dr Sukhjind Mann
Oliver Chapman
Rebecca Robinson
Garry Bridges
Keith Levy
Heidi Wilson
Simon Cutler
Lucy Millard
Gavin White
Rowena Roberts
Juliette Hamilton
Cathie Thomson
Martin Sykes
Ian Philip Hamilton
Karen Harrison
James O'Neill
Josie Teubler
Pam Lorimer
Gareth Watson
Tommy Walsh
Emily Hughes
H. Robertson
Pauline Murdock
Jean Krasocki
G. Barber
Colette Watling
Helen Routledge
Chris Keaney
Rita Whitehead
E. Azba
Jamie Howard
Susan Holt
Jeff Smith
Becci Wadeson
Margaret O'Connor
Mary Buchanan
Julie Holland
William Pinnock
Ann-Marie Littler
Elizabeth Irving
Lesley Lancelott
Peter Julyan
Nadine Ashton
Stephen Welling
Debbie Hey
Jex Hawksley
Claire Joseph
Pip Cotterill
Brian Kelley
John McAuliffe
Paula O'Reilly
Jay Tyson
Barry Adamson
Neil Brown
Catherine O'Reilly
J. Edwards
J. Hawes
Michael Denny
Philip Bethell
Stephen Taylor
Matt Savka
John Willmer
Trish Coyle
Kath Blower
Hafiza Begum
Alexander Moczulski
Phil Goodridge
Teresa Regan
Trisha Stevenson
Bernard O'Hara
Hywel Davies
Nicola Lord
Kevin Cooke
Michael Edwards
Gillian Wright
Deborah Cameron
Alan Gellion
Jon Tye
Liam Astley
Robert Storey

Wendy Frost
Frances Pool
Betty Webster
Heli Devine
Louise Magill
Susan O'Hare
Lucy Lloyd-Roach
Raf Mulla
Victoria Barlow
Joanne Hart
Dave Astley
John Tye
Drew Folland
John Moulson
Lisa Skolosdra Short
Sian Astley
Helen Corr
Tim Tyler
Livingston Flowers
Harriet Monkhouse
Jean Johnston
Altorki Ram
Vinny
Colin Imber
Rita Powell
J. Allen
Chantal Maine
Drew Walsh
David Payge
Katie Weeds
Alison Ball
Mr Peters
Laura Parkin
Ana Azba
Kim Wilson
Sophie McNeill
Paul Tempest
Joanna Midgeley
Tina Randall
Faye Welshy
Simon Manning
David Rideheard
John Tye
Darren Moore
Simon Wheale
Tim Drinkall
David McKelvey
Doug Edwards
Hellen Millen
Rae Story
Miriam Jones
Alice de Araujo
Ronan McAuliffe
Nancy McAuliffe
Old Moat Children's Centre
Stephen Whelan
Dave Bailey
David Payge
Carole Hoey
I. Jones
Mrs E. Robinson
Peter Bowers
Rich Flackett
Jacky Taylor
Martyn Spink
Jennie Harrison
Graham Monks
Peter Saunders
Selina Din
Leila Abu-Elfailaz
Mark Duplex
Richard Pearce
Adrian Hallmark
Thomas Liggett
Dr Mary Miller
Paul Grundy
Angela Hallmark
Ben Norman
Rachel Crabtree
Charlotte Miell
Kelda Savage
Martin Tonks
Vincent Walsh

SUPPORTERS

We'd also like to thank the following people who have very generously given their time to support our campaign:

Click to expand our supporters...

  • Martin Sykes
  • Clare Seddon Howarth, Tinned Snail
  • Jon Rebbeck, Bigghands Ltd
  • Alice & Andre De Araujo
  • William Pinnock
  • Catherine McCrohan
  • Frances Higson, Govan Hill Baths
  • Gill Wright, Victoria Baths
  • Cavendish Primary School & PTA
  • St Paul's Primary School & PTA
  • Beaver Road Primary School & PTA
  • St Cuthbert's Primary School & PTA
  • Old Moat Primary School & PTA
  • Chorlton High School
  • Susan Lynch
  • Ruth Sutton
  • Kevin, Click Electrical
  • Bramley Baths & The Mermaids
  • Gregg Johnson, Cactus Design
  • Roger Smith, Withington Civic Society
  • Iain Devine, The Drunken Butcher
  • The Makers' Market, West Didsbury
  • Amanda McCrann, Mosaicist
  • Lauren Hira, M20 Photography
  • Ayesha Rahman Photography
  • Andy Marshall Architectural Photography
  • Les Grant Photography
  • John Thomson, Actor & Comedian
  • Dave Haslam, DJ & Author
  • Justin Moorhouse, Comedian
  • Andrew Ryan, Comedian
  • Hayley Ellis, Comedian
  • Sian Wild, The Flower Lounge
  • Simon Connolly, Didsbury Events & Catering
  • Kate Goodman, Reserve Wines
  • Annalise Carter, A Taste of Honey Delicatessen
  • Sarah Gallacher, Cocoa-Cabana Chocolatiers
  • Sharon Kelly, Good Mood Food
  • Jill Taylor, Stealth Marketing
  • Pauline Deakin, Flo's Food
  • Eve Munroe, Facepainting
  • Becky Maughan, Love Fitness Manchester
  • Hannah Wells, My Craftea Day
  • Lisa Lawson, Diddi Dance
  • Kate Parsons, KateSews
  • Folk Café Bar
  • Airy Fairy Cakes
  • Tank Coffee
  • Taste Tradition
  • Fallowfield Timber
  • Simon Manning
  • Rachel Boyd
  • Dave Porter
  • Bobby's Bangers
  • Mike Spencer, freelance cameraman
  • Ella Cummins, Vivien Starr & Ruchika Kogimtzis (Smart Cookies) for Valentine's Cakes
  • Our VOLUNTEERS >> Jay Tyson, Phil Jones, Magdalena Radrigan, Jes Lowe, Nicola Griffiths, Ruth Price, Leila Abu-Elfailat, Tracey-Jane, April Preston, Helen Routledge, Dave Bowers, Andrew Porter, Anna Zaphiri, Branwen McHigh, Charlie Gooding, David Payge, Graham Monck, Jim Allen, Peter Syrus, Schadia Boueiri, Gouri Laher, Evonne Carr, Raf Mulla, Alex Colville, Ellis Quinn, Andy Callon, Rebecca Payne, Harriet Monkhouse, Denise Barnes, Anne Henderson, Debbie Cameron, Gavin White, Wasyl Strutynskyj, John Tye, Anna Gidman & all who painted, cleaned, scrubbed, weeded, planted & made teas and coffees as we prepared to open!

*By donating, we are assuming that you wish to join our mailing list if you provided your email address and be informed about timely news/events. We will never spam you nor will we ever forward your details to a third party. You may unsubscribe at any time and you can be assured we will remove your details from our database.

Contact Withington Baths