Council urged not to close historic Bradford pool

Councillors in Bradford must vote to keep the city’s listed Edwardian swimming pool in use, according to the The Victorian Society.

Plans to close the Grade II-listed Manningham Baths on Carlisle Road will be discussed at a Bradford City Council meeting tomorrow afternoon. Council spending cuts mean that its future looks bleak. It is thought that closing the baths would save in the region of £120,000.

There are more than 50 listed Victorian and Edwardian pools in the country but only 14 remain in use and open to the public for swimming. One of those rare survivors is Bradford’s Manningham Baths.

They were designed by Bradford City architect, Frederick Edwards and opened in 1904. The pool building remains remarkably intact and still has its original changing cubicles and the pool itself still has ceramic spittoons at regular intervals and a so-called scum channel down each side.

‘It would be a huge loss if Bradford couldn’t find a way to keep this important part of our heritage open and in use’, said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the The Victorian Society. ‘I’ve been swimming in historic pools all around the country, but virtually none are left in this intact state. It is truly extraordinary to swim in Manningham Baths. Historic pools like this are an endangered species, and we need to look after them.’

In July 2008 Dr Dungavell swam 105 lengths of Manningham Pool to commemorate its 105 years as a public swimming pool.

The full meeting of the City Council will take place at 4pm on Thursday 24th February.

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