Leeds & West Yorkshire

Manningham Baths closure criticised as a 'crime'

Interior Manningham baths (pic: Ian Dungavell)
Image caption Manningham Baths will close after being open to the public for 107 years

The closure of a Bradford pool used by swimmers for 107 years is being described by the Victorian Society as a "crime".

Manningham Baths, which opened in 1904, closes on Friday night as part of a £30m cuts package by Bradford council.

The council said the pool would need "significant investment" to stay open.

Members of the Victorian Society will join regular swimmers at Manningham Baths to hold a candlelit vigil after the final swimming session at the pool.

Protesters plan to "seal off" the baths with crime scene-style tape.

'Historic building'

Ian Dungavell, director of the Victorian Society, said: "It's a crime to waste a great historic building without fully investigating ways of keeping it open."

Mr Dungavell said Bradford council's decision to close Manningham Baths was due to its "really short-term view of the future".

"These baths have been serving the people of Manningham and Bradford for 107 years," he said.

"The closure doesn't actually get the council very far and once the pool is gone, it'll be gone forever."

Bradford council said while the closure was "a difficult decision", Manningham Baths was one of the least-used in the district.

The council said it had offered the local community, businesses and organisations the chance to take over the running of the pool, but it had received no "viable" applications.

Rhodesway Pool in Bradford was also earmarked for closure by Bradford Council and has already shut its doors.

Councillor Ghazanfer Khaliq, portfolio holder with responsibility for sport, said: "This is a disappointing outcome for the people who use the pools but both are under-used and expensive to maintain."

Protesters also plan to present a petition to Bradford councillors on Tuesday 12 July calling for councillors to re-consider the closures.

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