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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 09:46 GMT
Baths restoration gets under way
Manchester's Victoria Baths
The building has been derelict for more than a decade
The long-awaited renovation of Manchester's Victoria Baths is getting under way.

The Grade II listed building was the winner of the BBC's first Restoration series in 2003, which carried a prize pot of 3.4m.

The complex, on Hathersage Road, includes private baths, a laundry, jacuzzi, three pools and Turkish baths.

Phase One of the restoration, which is estimated to cost 18m in total, was beginning on Monday.

Persistent campaign

Gill Wright, the trust's project manager, said: "We've had a long haul and the most important lesson we've learnt is to be persistent

"In the early days it was only local residents that really valued this building and recognised its importance.

"Gradually over the years I think we have managed to have some influence and we are now working in partnership with the funders, with the city council and the restoration is about to start."

The baths won the prize after more than 280,000 television viewers voted for the project to win.

'Water palace'

The first phase will include extensive work to the Turkish baths suite and an external restoration of the front block of the building.

The complex was built for the poor of inner Manchester between 1903 and 1906.

When the Lord Mayor opened the building in September 1906 he described it as a "water palace" of which "every citizen of Manchester was proud".

The council closed the baths in 1993, in the face of much local opposition.


SEE ALSO
Guided tours at restoration baths
04 Mar 06 |  Manchester
Baths' restoration work to begin
23 Feb 06 |  Manchester
Baths win 3.4m Restoration final
14 Sep 03 |  Entertainment

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