Consultation Ideas

In the future the building will be used for a wide range of additional community purposes, so if you have any ideas on what Withington is missing, or have a community project yourself which is looking for a home, then please get in touch.


The LWB team know it’s vital to get feedback and ideas from members past and present, local people and those who’ve trodden the community-run facility path. In December 2013 we held a community consultation event throughout the month and asked for feedback which has proved invaluable in shaping plans for the future.

In conjunction with Manchester University, student groups researched and analysed data gathered from local student members and potential users, giving us valuable feedback on what this target group needs. We've also consulted local residents' groups, the Withington Civic Society, the Old Moat Youth Outreach Programme (OMYOP), representatives from Patient Advisory Referral Service (PARS) and The Christie.

Here is some of the feedback from our December 2013 community consultation:

What do our supporters & members say about Withington Baths?

  • I love that it’s old & full of personality
  • Good local community spirit
  • My daughter has Down’s Syndrome uses the facilities & gets support & a sense of belonging
  • It’s within walking distance & enables me to keep fit in a green way
  • I would chain myself to the building Pankhurst style to save it
  • A beautiful community building and resource
  • It is a big part of what Withington was
  • Local, friendly, approachable staff
  • Small, friendly, beautiful building that needs to be restored
  • If I’d to travel to HE I wouldn't have enough time to swim & I would stop swimming
  • I like that fact that my friends and family have used it for 50yrs
  • The charm of the architecture, the community spirit it fosters…
  • Convenient location, competitive prices
  • Locality, proper low cost community sports centre

What do people want?

  • Restoration of building, pool & painted tiling, a bit of a facelift!
  • Energy efficiency measures. Warmer pool
  • Better, warmer changing areas and more lockers
  • More cleaning allocated
  • Steam room & updates sauna
  • An earlier opening gym, vibroplates
  • More availability of pool time for adults
  • Special needs & elderly classes, women only
  • Baby/toddler swimming, more fun sessions
  • Yoga, pilates, physio, massage
  • More community events, usage and programmes
  • Bookable rooms
  • Cafe & drinks area, healthy snacks
  • Craft classes, courses, daytime activities
  • Arts, exhibitions, fairs, workspace
  • Parties, weddings, pop ups
  • Community run venture & volunteers
  • Improved garden and frontage
  • Bike rack

And finally, "Bathing Beauties in abundance" (although we can’t promise this!)


At our public meeting, on Saturday 18th October, we shared our initial plans, vision and architect drawings with the community. The community responded with some amazing feedback...

  • A cafe would be a really good idea after swimming lessons!
  • Would be really interested in scope for offices/office share
  • Since the Cine cinema has been lost, will there be room for something like it?
  • Pleased with how much work has been done, but are there too many ideas for this building? I feel there is the need to focus the plan a little
  • Make signs accessible and big enough. See Halesowen Baths in the West Midlands as an example
  • Where to begin!! Fantastic & inspiring plans!
  • Well done everyone! Love the design for the roof and all plans for the potential projetcs. Keep us posted!
  • Take advice from swimming teachers before settling on a pool design...
  • I LOVE the idea of a rooftop cinema here in Withington!
  • A small theatre space for am dram, please!
  • At the moment, there isn't enough space for families to get changed. In the male/female space, families can't change together. Make sure access to the pool for wheelchair users is considered - a walk-in pool
  • I can't get over how much work has been done! LOOKING FANTASTIC! Feel VERY optimistic!
  • A transformational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve our village, not only for ourselves but for the future
  • Whilst income generation will be important, very important to keep prices affordable for local people
  • Some QUIET spaces within the building for people to enjoy some calm & stillness. Community centres can be busy and noisy palces and it's good to punctuate that
  • Green roof, solar panels, bee farms, reductions for people on bike or foot, use of gardens for growing flowers and space for relaxing
  • Since the launderette closed on Whitchurch Road, it might be a good idea to have a launderette facility?
  • I would be interested in working in partnership with the baths to offer affordable and accessible classes to local people
  • Health & wellbeing events
  • Love these ideas!
  • Great! However, more joined up thinking  re servicing strategy relate dto water conservation, water cleaning, plants, nature, food growing, cooking & nutrition education
  • Don't let this become another Christie where the new build has ruined the look of the local area
  • Love the prospect of using the whole height of the original space!
  • Great opportunity! Strategy required for education opportunities linked to independent businesses - micro brewery, dance centre, bakery, aqua farm (hydroponics & aquaponics). A business hub amongst plants!
  • Great! A unique place that has everything! Each element an opportunity for a sustainable viable business
  • Good to see bikes instead of cars! This should be a place of low energy keeping-fit - cars are a contradiction, so more bikes, less cars!
  • Very beautiful plans but doesn't look like a heritage building too much
  • I love many of the ideas proposed but slight alarm bells about "apartments"/sheet glass additions
  • Cinema idea is fantastic!
  • Don't you feel there is too much going on? Once a concrete plan is set, I'm sure it'll be great!
  • A cinema, please!
  • Loved learning that a third pool had been originally planned. I never knew that before!
  • Congratulations on an inspiring start and for really engaging the community. So impressive! Well done!
  • Is there scope to create a cohesive corridor from Withington to the baths, improving the street scape outside the Adult Learning Centre etc?
  • Love the ideas for expansion and some of these drawings are breath-taking, but think what it will look like in grey, Manchester drizzle and try to build something sensitive to the local architecture
  • Would be a good venue for groups such as U3A
  • A large & flexible events space which retains original architectural features would make for a unique offer
  • A must! We have no central play area apart from Old Moat Park

Friends of Withington Baths >>