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Newcastle Turkish Baths restoration inspires similar revamp in Manchester

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Manchester could be the next UK city to revamp derelict public bath facilities with help from leisure management organisation Fusion Lifestyle.

Fusion is currently working on the £5m (US$6m, €5.7m) redevelopment of the Grade II listed Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths after a community campaign drew attention to the building.

Inspired by their progress, trustees of the Victoria Baths in Manchester – which closed in 1993 – have met with the team behind the resurrection of the Newcastle facility to map out their own restoration plan.

Gill Wright, project development manager at Victoria Baths Trust, also heads up the Historic Pools of Britain group, which was set up in 2015 to protect and preserve England’s public baths.

She said: “We heard the story of Newcastle’s baths closing, so we were delighted to hear that Fusion is working with the community campaign to save the building for public use.

“Newcastle really is a flagship for us of how historic pools can be made fit for today and Fusion is to be congratulated on taking a leading role in this field.”

Fusion Lifestyle will begin work on Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths in early 2017 for completion in 2018.

Situated in the basement where the original Turkish baths were housed in the 1920s and designed by the Newcastle-based Napper Architects, the spa will feature original wooden changing rooms and an original 1950s aeratone bath - a rare piece of equipment which submerges the bather in a pool of bubbles and jets.

There will also be three hot rooms, treatment room, plunge pool, steam room, fitness suite, exercise studios and restaurant/café.

Michelle Hirschhorn-Smith, of Re-open Newcastle Turkish Baths & City Pool, said:

“It’s been inspiring to meet with other people who share our passion for public pools and historic buildings, and we’re especially glad the Victoria Baths team have come to visit Newcastle as these are two very rare buildings which still house Turkish Baths.”

Fusion Lifestyle is a charity which ploughs all profits from its operations back into the business to provide affordable health and fitness facilities for all.

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Manchester could be the next UK city to revamp derelict public bath facilities with help from leisure management organisation Fusion Lifestyle.
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