Britain’s oldest swimming baths reopen thanks to Government and National Lottery cash for renovation
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Britain’s oldest swimming baths have re-opened after receiving a multi-million pound makeover. The historic 116-year-old Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham is a Grade-II listed Edwardian pool which opened in 1907.
Fascinating photos show the 100ft Gothic renaissance terracotta façade of the building as well as ornate ceilings and its beautifully-tiled 21m pool. Other features include an original oak Edwardian ticket booth at the gala baths - which is one of Britain’s oldest surviving facilities of its kind.
Viv Harrison, general manager for Moseley Road Baths, said “Moseley Road Baths has been at the heart of the Balsall Heath community for 115 years.
"It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to come together with other organisations who share a love of this beautiful Grade II-listed building, to champion our local heritage and secure it for future generations."
The pool faced permanent closure just a few years ago due to spiralling costs before being saved in 2017 following a community campaign. It is one of only five Grade II-listed baths in the country still open for public swimming and contains many of its striking original features.
The pool gained a multi-million pound Government and National Lottery Heritage Fund grant which saw a restoration project led by Historic England to transform the facility last year. It reopened to the public but was forced to close again in November due to a fault with the pool heating system.
But today, (February 27) the ‘internationally important’ and much-loved facility has re-opened again to members of the public.
Councillor Mariam Khan, cabinet member for health and social care at Birmingham City Council, said: “I’m so proud of the work everyone has done to breathe new life into this amazing building - a community asset, open to everyone.”
Historic England Midlands director Louise Brennan said Moseley Road Baths were a ‘real time capsule’ because of its architectural quality.
Louise said: "Moseley Road Baths has been a key Heritage at Risk project for us for some time now and we’re so keen to see this special building’s future secured.
"We have provided many years of technical advice and expertise, project support and several grants to ensure this."
Funding for the works included £657,000 from the World Monuments Fund, Historic England and Birmingham City Council. The project was also awarded £15.5m from the government’s Levelling Up funding.
In 2017 a group of organisations came together to form a coalition to work alongside Birmingham City Council, which owns the building, to save the pool.
The Moseley Road Baths Coalition is made up of the council, the Moseley Road Baths CIO, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths, Historic England, the World Monuments Fund, and the National Trust. The baths are also said to be the only facility in the country built before 1914 to have continuously hosted swimming since they opened.
Executive director of World Monuments Fund Britain, John Darlington, said: “Over the last few years we have seen the baths go from a place that was to be shut down to become an ambitious concept where heritage and health combine to regenerate Balsall Heath."
How to visit Moseley Road Baths
To check swimming times visit the Moseley Road baths website.
Adult swim – £5 Adult
Junior swim – £2.80 4 years to 15 years old
Under 4 ( not including the age of 4) years old – free
Family swim – £12 for a family of four
Monthly swim passes – £28.50 for 30 days
Monthly student swim passes – £25 for 30 days