Page last updated at 06:31 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 07:31 UK

Baths restoration moves forward

Victoria Baths window
Stained glass windows at the front of the building have been restored

The first phase of the long-awaited renovation of Manchester's Victoria Baths has been completed.

The Grade II listed building secured 3.4m when it won the first series of the BBC Restoration series in 2003.

Since then, about 3.8m has been spent on extensive repairs to the front of the Edwardian building and structural work on the Turkish baths.

The full restoration of the baths - still the long-term aim of volunteers - is estimated to cost 20m.

Almost 10,000 people a year visit the building on Hathersage Road, for guided tours.

The Victoria Baths Trust hope to encourage even more people to visit the site.

'Step forward'

Restoration work includes many of the building's ornate architectural features such as stained glass windows and its terracotta and mosaic floors.

Extensive renewal of roofs, rainwater goods and brickwork has also taken place.

Project manager Gill Wright said the first phase had rejuvenated some of the baths' most important features.

"We are looking forward to showing these to the public," she added.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's member for culture, said the authority - which owns the building - was delighted with the work.

Victoria Baths
The interior has been painstakingly restored

"This is a terrific step forward for this well-loved building and is an excellent foundation for the next phase of the renovation programme," he said.

"Victoria Baths is a remarkable example of Edwardian municipal architecture with lavish tiling, mosaic floors and many stained glass windows."

A steering group is now working with a developer planning the full repair of the building, though a timetable has not been set

The baths won the 2003 prize after more than 282,000 television viewers voted for the project to win.

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
Baths restoration gets under way
19 Mar 07 |  Manchester
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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