Duke of Westminster officially opens the refurbished Chester City Baths

26 January 2016

The Duke of Westminster has officially opened the £2.5 million refurbished Chester City Baths.

Cheshire West and Chester Council funded the urgent repairs to the historic building, which is leased to Chester Swimming Association. 

The Victorian premises, which are 115 years old, needed urgent repairs to the glass roofs of the Pacific and Atlantic pools.  Over the next two years this in turn triggered repairs across the whole building including a new ventilation system and refurbishments to the changing rooms and poolside areas.

All these works preserved the building and prolonged its life as a swimming facility.

Some of the investment needed special planning consent because of the listed status of the landmark building.

The Duke, a former president of Chester Swimming Association, said: “These much-loved Victorian Chester City Baths have served the city for more than a century and thanks to this refurbishment they will continue to do so well in to the future.

“It’s a wonderful job by everyone involved to update this fine listed building, which of course brings its own challenges. It is more important than ever that people of all ages are active and I urge everyone to use this fantastic facility.”

Chester City Baths were designed by the renowned local architect John Douglas which was an unusual commission as his expertise primarily related to churches and houses.

The building is one of only a few Victorian Baths that still operate as swimming pools.

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure said: “This popular venue plays host to generations both young and old, made up of learners, recreational and serious swimmers.

“I would like to thank adults and families who have returned to the City Baths after bearing with us while the building was closed for urgent repairs which amounted to an investment of £2.5 million.

“Chester City Baths is a well-known historical gem and I am sure will continue to be a firm favourite both now and in the future.” Since 1977 the pools have been operated in partnership with the Council and Chester Swimming Association, a registered charity whose board is made up of volunteers from clubs which use the baths.

Brian McCann, Chair of Chester Swimming Association added: “We are delighted that the Duke of Westminster made the time to come to the Baths to formally re-open the pools.

“We are extremely grateful to Cheshire West and Chester Council for delivering the project and to the highly skilled contractors and trades people who undertook the work.”

Paul Harris, Harry Fairclough Construction, Carl Roberts, QWEST, Councillor Brian Clarke, the Duke of Westminster, Councillor Stuart Parker and Brian McCann, Chair of Chester Swimming Association.
Paul Harris, Harry Fairclough Construction, Carl Roberts, QWEST, Councillor Brian Clarke, the Duke of Westminster, Councillor Stuart Parker and Brian McCann, Chair of Chester Swimming Association.

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