LWB Success & Recognition

The hard work put in by Love Withington Baths from 2013 has not gone unnoticed, and we're delighted to share some milestones with you:

  •  Shortlisted for public vote in the Lloyds Bank Community Awards 2014
  •  Nominated as Charity of the Year 2014-15 by Sainsbury's Local in Withington
  •  Winner of the Manchester Student Homes Good Neighbours Community Award 2014
  •  Runner-up of the University of Manchester Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award 2014
  •  Locality Award for £9,500 to facilitate BIM survey
  •  Allowance of £5,000 by Southway Housing for architectural feasibility study by Buttress Architects

Other Community-run Facility Successes

It has been an oft-repeated ‘fact’ that small swimming pools are untenable and unprofitable, which is why local councils all over the UK have been closing them down. However, we’ve found out, to our relief and delight, that the truth can be quite the opposite.

After visits to pools like Bramley Baths in Leeds (below), Lenton in Nottingham and the Pelican Centre in Tyldesley, it is apparent that small local pools can not only survive but thrive, with robust business plans, enthusiastic staff, community support and innovative ideas, through the community-run facility scheme.

Bramley Baths, Leeds - photography Tom Arber

The inspirational small pools and centres, which local councils had abandoned hope in and withdrawn support for, despite local opposition, with the right teams in place, have done something quite remarkable:

• Improved facilities and changing rooms
• Cut costs
• Increased memberships even with new pools built nearby
• Created enhanced community rooms and cafes
• Become profitable, and perhaps most important of all
• Revitalised the buildings and businesses with energy, love and passion


This is our mission for Withington Baths & Leisure Centre, with your support and help.

Can we do it too? Yes we believe we can!

We also of course have the example of the stunning architectural and engineering wonder of Victoria Baths in Manchester, which was closed in 1993 as a working pool & Turkish Baths despite vigorous opposition by the Manchester community. Left unmaintained for six years, leading to rapid deterioration and now millions of pounds have been spent to restore the building. We are determined that this crazy pattern of closing something to ‘save’ money then raising and spending much much more to get it back to an original position will not happen at Withington.

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