Greengate Public Baths, Salford

Action needed to save this rare survival of a handsome early public baths designed by one of Manchester’s best 19th century architects

The Greengate Baths in Salford are a rare surviving example early purpose built public baths by one of Manchester’s greatest architects.

Now obscured behind scaffolding and self-seeded trees, this handsome Italianate brick building was built by one of Manchester’s greatest Victorian architects, Thomas Worthington, in 1855. The Bath’s deterioration has been dramatic over the past decade and the The Victorian Society is calling on Salford City Council to act now to secure their future.

There does seem to be some hope. The Council’s April 2014 Greengate Regeneration Strategy states that it will create a new ‘pocket park’ outside the Baths and a new boulevard linking Greengate Square with Greengate Baths. The regeneration strategy goes on to state that use of compulsory purchase powers may be justified for specific prioritised development. Such an important building, by one of Manchester’s best 19th century architects, should be a prime candidate for the council to take such proactive action.

Salford was last featured in the Top Ten in 2012 when the Agecroft Chapel was listed. Nominated again for inclusion in this year’s Top Ten, this unique chapel has had some basic work carried out to better secure the building and remove plants. Nevertheless, it future sadly remains uncertain.

There has been better news for Manchester’s Ancoats Dispensary which featured in the 2011 Top Ten when its demolition was proposed. However, earlier this year it was awarded an Heritage Lottery Fund development grant of just over £770,000 to undertake immediate stabilisation works and to develop long-term plans for Ancoat’s restoration and reuse.

Other buildings nominated by the public for inclusion in the Top Ten included Stanley Grove School in Manchester, which is under threat of demolition, and Crossleys Lads Club, Openshaw, Manchester where a local boys’ boxing club closed recently.

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